The Reds have a big bat to deploy into the trade market, and naturally, that’s going to get contenders chattering. Jay Bruce is having a dandy of a year, slashing .271/.323/.572 and co-leading the Cincinnati roster in home runs with Adam Duvall at 25. Teams who want to supplement their lineup with a ferocious swinger are raising their eyebrows in Bruce’s direction, and as Jerry Crasnick and others are reporting, they’re starting to form a line around the corner.
Among the teams that have expressed interest in Jay Bruce: The New York Mets. Offense needed now, and '17 coverage if Cespedes opts out.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 29, 2016
Imagine slotting Bruce in a lineup with Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado. How many home runs do you need (With that Baltimore rotation, as many as you can get).
But yes, these are the teams you would expect to be asking about the 29-year-old Bruce, as the Dodgers need to score more runs, the Orioles can’t seem to have a strong enough heart of the order for their liking, and the Nationals seek offense as Bryce Harper gets his head on straight. Nobody wants to be one bat short of a playoff series win, so these guys are thinking ahead.
It makes sense for the Giants to be out, as they typically prefer to win their even-year championships on the backs of inexplicably effective utility players riding a streak of good luck (we all know Eduardo Nunez is now destined to be a playoff hero). The Mariners are not widely considered to be contenders, and wouldn’t want to be gouged in the way that some of these win-now teams are asking to be in a tight marketplace.
And then there’s the Mets. New York is also in on the Jonathan Lucroy negotiations, being one of the first to start a conversation with Milwaukee, so clearly they’re interested in making up their offensive prowess lost to injury. They’re also going to spend the rest of the second half trying to catch the Nationals while fending off the Marlins with the other arm - Bruce’s bat would go a long way in extending their reach.
We’ll see what Cincinnati wants to do here. You know what breed of prospect they’ll be eyeing up.