Jay Bruce Rumors

Reds Extend Jay Bruce

The Reds officially signed Jay Bruce to a six-year, $51MM extension today.  ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick broke the story on Thursday. The extension will keep Bruce in Cincinnati through at least 2016 – longer than any other member of the Reds is under contract for – and pay him $50MM in salary over the next six years. The deal includes a $1MM buyout for a $13MM option in 2017, plus a partial no-trade clause and the chance to earn more money with award bonuses. Agent Matt Sosnick represents Bruce.

The 23-year-old batted .281/.353/.493 with 25 homers as Cincinnati's everyday right fielder in 2010. His 5.3 Wins Above Replacement placed him tenth among MLB outfielders last year and even if that stat doesn't impress you, this will: Bruce's September 28th walk off home run clinched Cincinnati's first playoff berth in 15 years. 

A super two player, Bruce would have been arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and was on track to hit free agency after the 2014 season. Reds GM Walt Jocketty has discussed locking up Bruce for a while and this deal will keep the outfielder under contract until he's 29 or 30. 

Justin Upton, who is four months younger than Bruce, signed a comparable extension with the Diamondbacks before the 2010 season. Upton's six-year, $51.25MM deal will keep him under team control for all of his arbitration seasons and what would have been his first two years of free agency.

Next up for the Reds – extending Joey Votto. Like Bruce, the 2010 NL MVP is arbitration eligible for the first time and open to discussing an extension. Jocketty has already signed Bronson Arroyo to an extension this month.

Odds & Ends: Marlins, Cardinals, Bruce, Jeter

Links for Saturday night…

  • Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post says the Marlins are still looking for bullpen help (specifically a veteran lefty), a lefty bat off the bench, and outfield help.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that his team's lineup is set for 2011 after today's Lance Berkman pickup, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter links). Mozeliak described the team's payroll as "leaking," adding that Berkman received a higher salary as a trade-off for just one year.
  • Jay Bruce is optimistic about a new contract with the Reds according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Bruce mentions that nothing is imminent, however. 
  • SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that about five teams called to express interest in signing Derek Jeter before he re-upped with the Yankees, though the shortstop never considered going anywhere else. In fact, he didn't even listen to what they had to say (Twitter link).
  • The recently non-tendered George Sherrill has drawn some interest according to Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (Twitter link). The Yankees are not one of the interested teams, however.
  • Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News looks at Plan B and C should Texas be unable to retain Cliff Lee.
  • Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic tweets that Chad MacDonald will be the Mets' new scouting director. He served as the Diamondbacks director of international scouting for the last two years. 

Reds Rumors: Bruce, Votto, Rhodes, Cairo, Arroyo

The Reds have had preliminary extension talks with the agents for Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, and those aren't the only players GM Walt Jocketty is thinking of extending. Here are the details, from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

  • Jocketty says the extension Troy Tulowitzki signed will probably figure into discussions with Votto "to some extent."
  • Free agent deals have been more lucrative than Jocketty expected so far this offseason. 
  • The Reds continue to talk to Arthur Rhodes, who's a Philadelphia target, and Miguel Cairo. Jocketty says he expects to reach a deal with Cairo.
  • The Reds are also making progress on an extension with Bronson Arroyo. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears (on Twitter) that the talks are hovering around three years and $35MM with some deferred money. Arroyo, writes Cafardo, is "not biting yet."

Sosnick On Nolasco & Bruce

Agent Matt Sosnick has two clients in their arbitration years, but right now extension talks for Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins and Jay Bruce of the Reds aren't far beyond the infancy stages. Here's what Sosnick told Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald regarding a possible deal for Nolasco…

"I would say certainly nothing's going to happen soon," said the agent. "But I would be surprised if something didn't end up happening. We have had some conversations and I think we've made some progress."

Nolasco earned $3.8MM in his second (of four as a Super Two) year of arbitration, but back in September we heard that "a significant gulf" existed between the two sides during negotiations. More recently the club indicated that signing Dan Uggla long-term was their first priority, but after today's trade Nolasco presumably moved up on the list. The 27-year-old righty (28 next month) pitched to a 4.51 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 157 2/3 innings this season.

As for Bruce, here's what MLB.com's Mark Sheldon passes along…

"If Jay can get compensated fairly over his arbitration years and into his free agency years, we're open to it," Sosnick said. "If it makes financial sense, we'll look at it. There is no hesitation on Jay's part to stay in Cincinnati for as long as possible. He loves it there."

Bruce is due a significant raise as he enters his first year of arbitration (also a Super Two), and he's expressed interest a long-term deal in the past. Perhaps Nick Markakis' six-year, $66MM deal can be used as framework. Bruce had a monster season at age 23, hitting .281/.353/.493 with 25 homers.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Cox, Crawford, DeJesus

Two years ago today the Athletics acquired Matt Holliday from the Rockies in exchange for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith. Holliday hit .286/.378/.454 in exactly 400 plate appearances with Oakland before being dealt to the Cardinals for a package led by Brett Wallace at the 2009 trade deadline.

Street has battled injuries but has been solid when on the mound for Colorado, pitching to a 3.30 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 109 innings. Smith has appeared in just eight games for the Rox (all starts), putting up a 6.23 ERA. The real get was CarGo, who will certainly be in the MVP mix after a .336/.376/.598 season with 34 doubles, 34 homers, 26 stolen bases, and a batting title.

The hot stove league will certainly bring us more blockbuster trades, but for now you'll have to settle for this long collection of links, the best the blogosphere had to offer this week…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Reds Rumors: Cairo, Hernandez, Rhodes, Arroyo

Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he doesn’t expect to sign a big name free agent this winter. Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee will likely be playing elsewhere next year, though the Reds will boost payroll in 2011.

“I’m always trying to do something, but [signing a top free agent] would be pretty tough,” Jocketty said.

The Reds have had preliminary talks with the agents for Miguel Cairo, Ramon Hernandez and Arthur Rhodes, but Jocketty says he hasn’t yet exchanged potential salaries. The Reds have not spoken to Bronson Arroyo about an extension since picking up his option last week and they are not currently discussing long-term deals with Joey Votto or Jay Bruce.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote yesterday that he expected the Reds to complete a two-year extension with Arroyo this week. Jocketty has said he'd like to reach a deal before the 2011 season begins, but the potential contract may not become a priority until later this offseason.

Bruce, Perez, And Others Get Super Two Status

Twenty players including Reds right fielder Jay Bruce and Indians pitcher Chris Perez have qualified for Super Two status, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of CBSSports.comEvan Longoria has also made the cutoff but will not reap the benefits as he signed a long-term deal with the Rays in April of 2008.

Players with two years and 122 days of service were granted Super Two status this winter.  Prior to this year, no player was awarded Super Two status with less than two years and 130 days of service time.  MLBTradeRumors first reported the lowering of the cutoff in June.

Super Twos get to go to arbitration four times instead of the usual three.  Players such as Bruce, and Perez are now in line for significant raises in 2011.  As for Bruce, the 23-year-old recently said that he would be open to discussing a long-term deal with Cincinnati for "five or six years."

To brush up on exactly what Super Two status means and how one obtains it, you can check out our handy post right here.  Below, you will find the complete list of players who have now been granted Super Two status.

Burke Badenhop, Florida 2.143
Travis Buck, Oakland 2.122
Jay Bruce, Cincinnati 2.125
Dana Eveland, Pittsburgh (outrighted) 2.152
Josh Fields, Kansas City 2.159
Armando Galarraga, Detroit 2.148
Alberto Gonzalez, Washington 2.135
Chase Headley, San Diego 2.123
Luke Hochevar, Kansas City 2.151
Jim Johnson, Baltimore 2.165
Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia 2.159
Jensen Lewis, Cleveland 2.133
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay 2.170
Darren O'Day, Texas 2.128
Ross Ohlendorf, Pittsburgh 2.139
Felipe Paulino, Houston 2.163
Chris Perez, Cleveland 2.136
Ian Stewart, Colorado 2.154
Sean White, Seattle 2.156
Brad Ziegler, Oakland 2.122

Odds & Ends: Duchscherer, Bruce, Nolasco, Votto

Some links as the Rangers look to close out the Yankees at home..

Sosnick On Bruce, Willingham, Nolasco, Dunn

Agent Matt Sosnick appeared on the Diamond Hoggers' Baseball Show today, and spoke at length about how he became involved in baseball, his experiences in the sport, and a few of his clients. Here are the highlights from the discussion, which you can listen to here:

  • Jay Bruce is open to signing a long-term contract with the Reds. "If the Reds felt the same way," Sosnick said. "We'd be open to doing something that was five or six years."
  • Sosnick acknowledged that locking up Joey Votto would likely be a higher priority for the club, but cited deals signed by Justin Upton and Troy Tulowitzki as potential starting points for a Bruce extension.
  • As we heard earlier today, Josh Willingham is interested in signing an extension with the Nationals. Sosnick feels that if Willingham were hitting the open market this winter, the 31-year-old could land a multi-year deal worth $10MM annually.
  • According to Sosnick, when the Giants made a push for Willingham, the Nats asked for either Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in return.
  • Regarding a possible Ricky Nolasco extension, Sosnick says he and the Marlins agreed on the years, but were off by "about 20%" on salary. The two sides will resume extension talks in November or December, working on a one-year deal in the meantime.
  • Adam Dunn is not a Sosnick client, but the agent predicts that Dunn will receive about $40MM for three years this offseason.

Reds Rumors: Hernandez, Rhodes, Bruce

We heard yesterday that the Reds are likely to decline their half of the $4MM mutual option on Orlando Cabrera for 2011 and that the club has interest in retaining Jonny Gomes and Ramon Hernandez. Here’s more news on the 2010 NL Central Champs from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

  • Devin Mesoraco’s progress could impact the offers the Reds make to Hernandez. Mesoraco, a 22-year-old catcher, had an excellent season at the plate this year. The 2007 first rounder hit .302/.377/.587 at three minor league stops with 26 total homers. He’s now playing in the Arizona Fall League and figures to need more minor league seasoning given his lack of experience in the upper minors.
  • The Reds have talked to Arthur Rhodes’ agent about bringing the lefty back in 2011. Rhodes told Fay he’d like to return and talks will resume next week, so there’s a chance the sides work something out before Rhodes hits the open market.
  • The Reds expect Jay Bruce to qualify as a Super Two, but they haven’t heard official word yet. Bruce would likely earn a few million if he’s arbitration eligible this year and that commitment would likely affect the Reds’ ability to spend on other players.
  • MLBTR's Tim Dierkes heard in June that the Super Two cutoff will be earlier than usual this year and that Bruce will be the Super Two with the fewest days of service time. With just two years and 125 days of service time, Bruce will have less big league experience than any Super Two in recent years.