In their effort to reduce payroll this offseason, the Reds are listening to offers on outfielder Jay Bruce, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rosenthal notes that the Padres have discussed the possibility of acquiring Bruce from the Reds.
Bruce has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to eight unknown teams, according to a major-league source. It is unclear if the Padres are on that list or not.
Bruce, 27, is controlled through the end of the 2017 season due to a $13 million team option, but Rosenthal said that the team tried to extend him on a long-term deal last offseason. The veteran then struggled in an injury-riddled season, hitting only .217/.281/.373 with eighteen home runs and 66 RBI in 137 games.
Because of Bruce's tough season, the Reds may be wise to wait until midway through next season to move him if they are out of the pennant race and are looking for payroll flexibility in advance of starters Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Alfredo Simon and Johnny Cueto becoming free agents next winter. Teams looking for a power bat will surely call Cincinnati in the near future, looking to acquire Bruce, a two-time All-Star.
In seven major league seasons, Bruce has hit .251/.323/.467 with 182 career home runs and 551 RBI. He has finished twice in the race for NL MVP on two occasions, and has also received two Silver Slugger awards.