As of March 24th, 2016, Jay Bruce and Jonathan Lucroy are still members of the Reds, and Brewers, respectively. Both players are considered the top trade chips for their clubs, and while they're still likely to be traded this year, it's somewhat of a surprise that neither one has been moved yet.
"Opening Day is just 11 days away, and honestly, they can't believe they're still here.
Bruce and his wife, Hannah, whose first baby, Carter, is due April 23, thought a month ago they'd be gone, preparing to play their home games in a foreign country. Now, they are trying to pretend it's business as usual, and will be back in their Cincinnati home this summer.
Lucroy, so sure he'd be traded by now, still doesn't have a place to live in Milwaukee. He's scrambling now to find a rental for his wife, Sarah, and their 5-year old daughter, Ellia.
'It's such a weird feeling,' said Lucroy, who has been with the Brewers since 2007. 'You don't know where you're at, what's going on, what the plan is. I felt like I was going to get traded five times this off-season. I don't know why it didn't go down.'"
Lucroy might be baffled as to why he's still playing for Milwaukee, but it's not that hard to figure out. David Stearns, the Brewers' new GM, simply wasn't offered a package that he felt was satisfactory to let go of Lucroy. Given that he's under team control through 2017 (there's a team option for $5.25 million next year), there's no rush to trade him. Stearns can wait until an injury creates more of a need, or until the trade deadline, when more teams are interested in upgrading various aspects of their teams.
While Bruce and Lucroy are both surprised that they haven't been traded yet, only the latter seems have a problem with that. Lucroy has made it no secret that he wants to play for a contender, but Bruce seems more than happy to stay with the Reds.
"It sounds like the effort they [Cincinnati] were making to trade me was pretty diligent, so it's a big surprise that I came out on the other end of it so far. I still would like to stay here. I've been here since I was 18 and I always wanted to finish my career here. In a perfect world, I would stay here because this is where I want to be, I mean, this is all I know."
For now, both Bruce and Lucroy will simply have to wait on stand by, but it seems like a safe bet that both will be traded at some point in 2016. Neither one is playing for a team that will contend next season, and given that each has a valuable skill set, there will be multiple organizations trying to acquire them.