MLB Trade Rumors: Cincinnati's Jay Bruce to Kansas City for Joakim Soria

Illya HarrellAnalyst IIJuly 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - JUNE 04: Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds argues with home plate umpire Dan Bellino after being called out on strikes during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 4, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

That's Jay Bruce trying to use his Jedi mind trick on an umpire, "No, you did not just see me swing at a ball that was three-feet over my head."

There is no doubt Bruce has potential. Unfortunately, potential and seven bucks will only buy you a hopper full of movie theater popcorn.

The Reds have around a three year window before they start going broke with big money extension or arbitration cases.

If Cincinnati does not lock Joey Votto down to a multi-year deal, the improving but already paltry attendance will drop to Florida Marlins level.

Even though Bruce still gets the obligatory, "BRUUUUUUCE," chant when as he steps in the box, now is the time to trade him. Fan morale would not decrease if a top-notch closer were to join the club.

At 23, Bruce still has a tremendous upside. And, not being a soothsayer, it's impossible to tell whether or not that upside will ever be seen.

Right now though, with the Reds' regular season 57.4 percent done, Bruce is on pace to hit 19 home runs with around 158 strikeouts—158 Ks is pretty decent for a soft tossing pitcher—for an offensive player on pace to hit 19 home's flat-out worthless.

Now if Bruce were on pace to jack 40-45 bleacher balls, it'd be a totally different story—one not especially as deplorable.

Defensively, Jay Bruce is at the top of the MLB right fielder class. He cuts balls off, and has an absolute cannon—even some of the fastest players in the league will not test his left arm.

Kansas City does not have a right fielder. Yes, they do play someone out there. This year it has been, for the most part, natural center fielder David DeJesus.

Joakim Soria is a stallion closer. His talent is wasted in Kansas City. 

How valuable is a save when when it is for a team 13 games below .500, and 1.5 games out of last place? 

The Reds current closer Coco Cordero has not only been directly responsible for many heart attacks in the Cincinnati area, but he is also under contract for next year. And even if Coco's cousin were an MLB general manager—there is no way he would take the aged and overweight closer with a price tag of $14 million.

The only viable solution for the Reds will be to obtain a lesser priced super star closer (Soria) and just toss Coco into middle relief. And they should do this as soon as possible.

Jay Bruce for Joakim Soria.

Get on the phone Walt!