Enough of the Jay Bruce Trade Chatter

Ever hear something and you want to laugh so hard, but you resist due to fear of splitting your side? That’s where I am now with all the talk and chatter surrounding Jay Bruce and that how the Reds are listening to offers on him. Get this straight. Any worthwhile general manager is going to listen to offers. He is not doing his due diligence to the organization if he’s unwilling to do so. And who knows, you could be blown away and a deal ultimately goes down.

But why have these rumors surfaced? Maybe that’s what intrigues me.

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So Jay Bruce has the worst season of his career and the Reds are looking to ship him? Those teams wishing to add Bruce (rumors have name Toronto, San Diego and New York Mets) could view him as a buy low option because of his poor 2014 showing. But there is something we must all consider here.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer address a question about a potential Bruce trade. He doesn’t think the Reds will deal him, and in his answer gave a reason not to deal the right fielder.

He’s only 27. His salary ($12 million in 2015 and $12.5 million) is reasonable in today’s market. He had a bad year this year. Some of that can be blamed on coming back too soon from the knee surgery. But won the Silver Slugger award as the best offensive right fielder in the National League the previous two years. Bruce averaged 32 home runs and 101 RBI from 2011 to ’13. That kind of offensive production is hard to find.

And let’s take this out a little more. Aside from last year and his rookie year of 2008, here’s what Bruce has produced from 2009 to 2013: .257/.332/.486, 29 HR, 87 RBI, 118 OPS+. I believe many people are still waiting for the 2010 Jay Bruce to reappear, but as I have stated here on an occasion or two, I think that season is a bit of an anomaly (.281/.353/.493). We were treated to a good batting average and we were spoiled.

Would the Reds love to clear up a little payroll? Sure, but dealing Bruce is not the best answer. The Reds need bats, not get rid of them. Dealing the Beaumont Bomber would only place another hole within the lineup.

And I could understand the rumors running rampant in a couple of years, similar as to what we are now experiencing with Johnny Cueto. The Reds hold an option for 2017 at $13M, which if Bruce rebounds to his former self, could be as big a deal, if not bigger, as giving Cueto $10M for the upcoming seasons.

Yes, Jay Bruce strikes out a lot more than we’d like to see. But check his minor league numbers. He posted a K% of 22.6%. His K% as a Red is 24.5%. Normally we expect an increase in K% when a player goes from minors to majors.

So one bad season does not call for all of this talk regardless if you’re a Jay Bruce fan or not.