UPDATE (Saturday): A three-team deal is not going to happen, according to a report from Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. The Reds and Dodgers continue to discuss a deal involving Bruce, with Los Angeles among the most likely destinations to land the outfielder at this point.
Other clubs are still in the mix for Bruce, who appears very likely to be moved before Monday’s deadline.
The third team involved in talks is not known, though industry insiders tonight have mentioned the Rays and Braves as possibilities to get involved. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported that Tampa Bay is not the third team, despite some reports that they could be involved.
Bruce is in the Reds’ lineup tonight against the Padres, suggesting that, at least as of two hours ago, nothing was close enough to require his removal from the lineup. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported earlier in the night that six teams are in the mix for Bruce, with recent reports citing the Nationals, Orioles and Mets joining the Dodgers in pursuit of the outfielder.
The Dodgers are serious about their pursuit of Bruce, according to sources, and some in the industry view them as the most likely destination at this point. Los Angeles is armed with a strong farm system, and Cincinnati is especially familiar with what the Dodgers have to offer after almost trading Aroldis Chapman to the club in December and striking a 3-team deal involving Todd Frazier later in the winter.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the clubs discussed a deal centered around Bruce and Yasiel Puig that did not materialize. That does not mean talks between the clubs are dead, especially if the three-team deal is still a possibility.
The Dodgers are known to be looking at many options on the trade market, including Bruce, other outfielders and pitching options. Los Angeles is looking to add rotation help in the wake of injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood and Brett Anderson, and is known to be willing to trade Puig before Monday’s deadline.