UPDATE — New York is the favorite to land Jay Bruce.
ORIGINAL — While the most fervent discussions this trade deadline have dealt with starting pitching and the price being paid to acquire even adequate hurlers, there are still teams in need of bats. Those scouring the market for offense have stopped inevitably to gawk at the Reds’ Jay Bruce, a three-time All-star currently slashing .265/.316/.559 and leading the league in RBI with 80.
The list of Bruce-wanters has slimmed down to five: Dodgers, Mets, Giants, Rangers, Blue Jays. While the Dodgers are starved for run production, according to Bob Nightengale, this is not their lucky day.
Yes, there is a deal in the works here, we just don’t know what it is or who it involves outside of Bruce and the Reds. This early in the morning, that’s about all we could handle anyway.
Still, Bruce being traded would be no surprise. He has been at the top of a lot of lists going into July - not only is he among the league leaders in offense, but most analysts had him as a top target, given the need for offense among contenders and Bruce’s six-year deal in which he is in the final season (not counting a $13 million option for 2017 with a $1 million buyout).
So who is pulling the strings here? Jayson Stark mentioned vaguely that the team with whom the Reds may be matching on Bruce could be the Giants.
“A rival GM on why the Giants are a team to watch today on Jay Bruce, others: ‘My read on their system is, they don't have super high-end types, but they've got depth in solid, non-spectacular players. So they have enough to address their needs but not go after a Chris Sale.’”
Bruce clicks in San Francisco, since the $13 million he’d cost to maintain in 2017 is offset by Angel Pagan departing from the Giants roster. SFGate writes that the team is definitely interested in acquiring the 29-year-old slugger, and has been making a “late and strong push” to get him.
But they aren’t the only ones.
Could Jay Bruce still wind up in New York? The Reds were still talking with the Mets as of this morning, while talks with SF & LA in slow mo— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 1, 2016