The Reds are finally open for business, and their top products for sale are closer Aroldis Chapman and right field Jay Bruce, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
The front office of Cincinnati started this trend by moving right-handers Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake before the July 31 trade deadline. They listened to offers for both Chapman and Bruce, the former being linked to the Diamondbacks and the latter being mainly linked to the Mets, as they pursued outfield help.
Now, with the season over, the front office appears more willing to move these pieces.
"I would say probably," Jocketty said. "We still wanted to be somewhat protective of our club last year. We had certain guys we just didn’t want to move. We started at the deadline knowing that we would gear up – ’16 would be a transition year and in ’17 and ’18, we think we could be stronger and more competitive."
Chapman is projected to earn $12.9 million through arbitration, as a closer for a team not close to competing. The 27-year-old is a free agent following the 2016 season, so a team would only be committing to him for one season. Bruce would be a tougher sell for the Reds.
Bruce has his share of positives, only being under contract for $12.5 million in 2016 with a club option in 2017 which is more favorable than the contracts that will be dished out to Yoenis Cespedes, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. The negatives are that he hit .226 with 26 home runs and a .729 OPS at age 28.
With the Pirates and Cubs on the rise, and the Cardinals still a powerhouse in the NL Central, the Reds have seemed to finally realize that in order to compete again in their division, they will have to rebuild. They started that by moving Cueto and Leake. They can continue to shed from their current roster, and get good returns, by moving Bruce and Chapman.