8:31pm: Morosi says the Rays are still a player; he tweets that the team could end up shipping out two starters, one to each of the two other teams.
It seems that the reason for the involvement of a third team is that Cinci prefers position-player prospects, per Heyman (via Twitter), while the Dodgers are somewhat more inclined to deal arms. Of course, an earlier report suggested that the Rays’ role could involve sending a pitcher to the Reds, so the entire situation still seems in flux at present.
8:08pm: Tampa Bay is actually not involved in any Dodgers-Reds scenarios, Stark tweets.
7:36pm: The Rays appear to be the potential third team, per a Morosi tweet. Tampa Bay has been chatting with Los Angeles about scenarios that “could link up” with the talks between the Reds and Dodgers.
7:23pm: Talks between the Reds and Dodgers involving Bruce and Puig “didn’t materialize,” according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). He adds, though, that there are other trade scenarios still being tossed around between the clubs.
6:59pm: Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig could be in play in the talks regarding Bruce, Stark tweets. He’d presumably be pushed out of a regular role if a significant corner outfielder is added, and Stark says that L.A. has been trying to move him in proposals with other teams.
6:24pm: The Reds and Dodgers could be putting together another three-team arrangement after joining up for such a deal over the winter, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com tweets. Details — including the would-be facilitator — remain unclear, but Bruce would end up in Los Angeles if it comes to fruition.
5:46pm: The Dodgers remain in the hunt for Bruce, with MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon tweeting that there’s dialogue between the clubs and Jon Heyman of Fan Rag adding (via Twitter) that he has heard the same. Los Angeles isn’t keen on the idea of giving up much in the way of prospects to make a deal, though, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).
Heyman also lists the Nationals, Orioles, Mariners, and Mets as teams with ongoing interest — many of whom have been tied to Bruce in recent days (if not for longer). Despite the report below suggesting that Seattle had left the Bruce market, Heyman’s report adds to another suggesting that he’s still in play. And while the Giants were also said to be out on Bruce, Nightengale tweets that they are still holding talks — even with Hunter Pence now set to return from the DL.
5:28pm: Two new entrants in the market have ratcheted up the bidding on Bruce, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). The pair of mystery teams has been “aggressive,” per the report.
It remains somewhat difficult to guess where exactly the most focused interest could come from. Bruce, after all, would be a flexible addition for most AL contenders and could also fit with an NL team that is looking to add pop and has favorable scouting reports on his glove in right. With an added year of team control through an affordable-enough option, there’s also some future value — and the possibility of an offseason deal to return something different if Bruce isn’t needed past the present season in his new home.
2:16pm: The Mets are among the clubs that have spoken with the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Among the other teams in dialogue with Cincinnati are the Dodgers, Nationals, and Orioles, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick adds on Twitter.
New York’s level of interest isn’t too great at the moment, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). And Crasnick adds that the Nats and O’s appear to have their sights set on other areas at present. Likewise, we’ve heard that the Dodgers have engaged on a number of other possibilities, including Josh Reddick.
Two other potential suitors — the Giants and Mariners — “appear to be out,” according to Crasnick. With Seattle and San Francisco apparently no longer in pursuit, and none of the teams listed above appearing to represent aggressive pursuers, it’s not hard to see why Cincinnati president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty expressed frustration yesterday over the response that Bruce has drawn on the market.
Bruce has put up quite a nice season after two straight duds. And he comes with control rights for 2017; though his $13MM option isn’t cheap, it looks more appealing than committing a similar annual amount for a longer term to an alternative on the free agent market this winter.
It has seemed at various times that Bruce’s big power numbers, added year of control, and eminent availability would make him a desirable and quite likely trade candidate. But Jocketty suggested a deal isn’t inevitable for a player that the Reds value quite highly.