Jay Bruce Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Reds OF's Future

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

Cincinnati Reds' Jay Bruce watches the ball after hitting an RBI sacrifice fly off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 10-3. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Reds are in full rebuilding mode and are selling off all the veteran pieces they can. Outfielder Jay Bruce may be the next to go.

Continue for updates.

Orioles Interested in Bruce

Thursday, Feb. 25

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported the Baltimore Orioles "are still short one outfielder" and remain a potential suitor for Bruce.

On Feb. 11, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the Reds believe the Orioles have the prospects needed to swing a trade for Bruce.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Feb. 10 the Orioles could be a landing place for Bruce but that they "might not have the prospects to land [him]."

Reds Reportedly Pushing to Trade Bruce

Wednesday, Feb. 24

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported that the Reds "would like to move [Bruce] in the next week," citing a source. Crasnick added that beyond that, the "odds increase that he'll start [the] season in Cincinnati."

Bruce Still an Option for Blue Jays Despite Failed Talks

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Heyman reported the Toronto Blue Jays "could try for Bruce another way," noting Toronto "are said to want a lefty hitter."

The report comes a day after a three-team trade that would have sent Bruce to the Blue Jays "hit a snag" during the medical review process, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, who added the trade is "dead." Olney explained the deal "dissolved over multiple issues, and not concern over just one player's medical information."

Heyman reported earlier the trade would send Michael Saunders to the Los Angeles Angels, and the Reds would receive prospects. However, there appear to have been some concerns over Saunders' knee, per Crasnick.

Rosenthal noted the Blue Jays are not on Bruce's no-trade list.

Reds Executive Comments on Bruce Trade Rumors

Monday, Feb. 22

"He hasn't been traded," said Walt Jocketty, the Reds' president of baseball operations, when asked about Bruce, per John Fay of WCPO.com.

Multiple Hurdles Still in Way of Potential Bruce Trade

Thursday, Jan. 14

Crasnick couldn't identify any possible suitors but reported the Reds "are still listening on [Bruce]." Crasnick also passed along an email from general manager Dick Williams:

We are still evaluating options. We do not consider our offseason to be finished. Deciding to focus on the long-term means you have to constantly evaluate opportunities. Trading [Todd] Frazier and [Aroldis] Chapman certainly begins to move us in the direction we need to go, as a small market team. Once you start down this road, it is important to continue with the tough decisions and not pull up in the middle of the project. That being said, we cannot force deals so I cannot guarantee we will do more.

What Bruce Would Bring to Next Team

Dealing Bruce will be much easier said than done. After a career year in 2013, the 28-year-old has struggled at the plate. He hit a career-low 18 home runs in 2014 while driving in 66 runs and batting .217, and his numbers picked up only slightly in 2015.

Bruce had a slash line of .226/.294/.434 with 26 homers and 87 RBI. However, his .261 true average (TAv), which is league average, was a little more indicative of his performance at the plate, per Baseball Prospectus.

Still, Bruce is due $12.5 million in 2016 and has a $1 million buyout for 2017. Plenty of teams may balk at committing at least $13.5 million to him after the last two seasons. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, he also has a no-trade clause that applies to eight teams: the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins.

In order to facilitate a trade, the Reds might have to concede some value coming their way.