Jay Bruce Rumors
CBSSports.com reports that the Reds have agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Jay Bruce. Reliever Jared Burton and nine other players were signed to one-year deals as well. The team announced the deals on Saturday.
Fifteen players remain to be signed by the Reds.
C. Trent Rosecrans of TheLotD.com also talked with Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty today. Here are some conversation highlights:
- The Reds are still talking to Jerry Hairston Jr. to play left field. "We’re still trying to get Hairston," Jocketty told Rosecrans. "We’ll have a different look on our club, but we still have guys like (Joey) Votto, (Jay) Bruce, (Brandon) Phillips, (Edwin) Encarnacion and even (Ramon) Hernandez with power."
- Jocketty hasn't spoken with Pat Burrell in awhile. They are holding back on that one right now.
- Health remains a serious issue with Rocco Baldelli, Jocketty said.
- The Reds have been in discussion with the New York Yankees about their extra outfielders, but no deals are close.
- No Barry Bonds; no Sammy Sosa.
Links for Friday night...
- The Reds are going to call Pat Burrell's agent.
- Ken Rosenthal breaks down the Braves' options now that they've lost out on A.J. Burnett. Could they sign Rafael Furcal as a second baseman and move Kelly Johnson to left field?
- The Red Sox signed five players to minor league deals, including Paul McAnulty and Billy Traber.
- T.R. Sullivan takes a look at the market for Ben Sheets from the Rangers' perspective.
- Keith Law calls the Raul Ibanez signing 'absurd' for the Phillies.
- Orioles manager Dave Trembley thinks his team is still in the running for Mark Teixeira.
- Dean Jones Jr. breaks down the Orioles' Rule 5 draft selections.
- Dave Dombrowski isn't the only one who'd like to bring John Smoltz to Detroit. Even college basketball coach Tom Izzo likes the fit.
- Jay Bruce also plays GM; he wants the Reds to keep their young pitching. Bruce also revealed that Jerry Hairston Jr. is considering the Phillies and Mariners in addition to the Reds.
Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch relays a Walt Jocketty radio show appearance. Jocketty reportedly named five untouchable Reds players: Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Edwin Encarnacion. Hunter is surprised to see Encarnacion labeled off-limits. The 25 year-old third baseman has a career line of .268/.344/.450 in 396 games. With several .900+ OPS months on his resume, EE has shown flashes of star potential offensively.
Veterans Francisco Cordero, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, and Brandon Phillips apparently did not make the list. Only Arroyo has been mentioned in trade rumors this year; the rest seem unlikely to go anywhere. But it should be noted that Jocketty wasn't with the organization when the Cordero, Harang, and Arroyo contracts were signed and might be more willing to move them.
Here's Buster Olney's latest blog entry.
- Olney takes a look back at last winter's rumored Erik Bedard for Jay Bruce trade. Bruce has been living up to his untouchable tag. The Reds have to be happy with the way their young players are developing, but a rotation of Bedard, Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey could rival the Braves of the early 90's. That said, Bruce won't be traded anytime soon.
- Numerous reports are coming out regarding draft strategies. Here are a few links - Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Pirates, Rangers, Rays and Yankees.
- Olney also touches base on the seemingly lopsided Delmon Young trade from the past offseason between the Rays and Twins. The Rays are in first place and have benefitted since receiving Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett in the deal. Garza is pitching well, while Young is still homerless on the season. Young is only 22-years old and is bound to fulfill at least some of what was once limitless potential.
Posted by Shannon McKeown
Plenty of links for today.
- Indians top prospect Adam Miller is pretty much done for the season.
- '09 free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera and manager Ozzie Guillen are not getting along.
- Peter Bendix explains the savings the Reds get by waiting to promote Jay Bruce.
- Morgan Ensberg is a DFA candidate, while LaTroy Hawkins may be getting there.
- Bret Boone's comeback attempt has ended.
- Jeff Weaver (6.69 ERA in Triple A) can ask for his release if not called up by June 15th.
- Hank Blalock may not be in the Rangers' long-term plans.
- The Indians designated Jorge Julio for assignment.
1:42pm: It's done - the Reds have designated Hatteberg for assignment to make room for Bruce.
9:30am: The Reds haven't announced the corresponding move to Jay Bruce's callup yet. John Fay wonders whether they'll opt to designate Scott Hatteberg for assignment, noting his well-diminished role on the team. I speculated back in April that Hatteberg might be a good replacement for Carlos Delgado or complement to Richie Sexson.
Corey Patterson has to be worried as well, since Bruce is expected to take over as the regular center fielder. Patterson is hitting just .201/.242/.354 in 155 plate appearances.
According to Baseball Digest Daily, the Reds will promote top prospect Jay Bruce tomorrow. The 21 year-old is mashing to the tune of .364/.393/.630 in Triple A. Said Rob Neyer today: "Has there ever been a more obvious call-up in the history of the sport?"
Bruce's promotion may signal the end of Corey Patterson in Cincinnati.
Yesterday Rob Neyer of ESPN.com wrote about the fates of Baseball America's top two prospects, Jay Bruce and Evan Longoria. While Bruce start the season in the minors, Neyer notes that the Reds could be a playoff contender if Bruce and Joey Votto receive 1,000 plate appearances. On the other hand, a decision has yet be made on where Longoria will start the season. Neyer feels that the Rays may wish that Longoria was not playing so well in Spring Training. He thinks the Rays should forgo the potential savings of keeping him in the minors and buy some goodwill with the fans by showing them that the team is serious about winning.
Keeping top prospects in the minors to begin the season is likely to become a growing trend. Decisions in both of the above cases may at least in part be based on future arbitration and free agency eligibility. A team can delay free agency by just postponing a player's debut a few weeks. And as arbitration figures continue to rise, team's can delay the start of the arbitration clock by waiting until June to promote a prospect. Last season the Brewers accomplished this with their top prospect Ryan Braun by waiting until May 24th to promote him to the majors. In doing so, Braun will not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2010 season.
Let's take a look at what is being written about Bruce and Longoria in the Blogosphere...
- Redleg Nation understands starting Bruce in AAA, but laments the idea of having Corey Patterson batting leadoff. They worry that this confirms the belief that Dusty Baker prefers veterans even if they are less talented.
- Red Reporter is split on the issue of Bruce noting that the issue is not as clear as we would like it to be. They also wonder if the Reds are staggering the debuts of their prospects so their arbitration and free agency clocks are also staggered.
- Bugs & Cranks wonders if the Reds had already decided Bruce's fate even before bringing Patterson on board, for the sole purpose of delaying Bruce's arbitration clock.
- At Fanhouse, Pat Lackey tries to justify the demotion of Bruce, noting that he may be better off developing under the tutelage of somebody other than Baker, getting more experience and delaying his arbitration clock.
- On the other hand, Eamonn Brennan of Fanhouse thinks any team not managed by Baker would have kept Bruce on the roster.
- Rays of Light notes that Longoria's future teammates may not be happy if he is demoted. Rays of Light wouldn't be happy with a demotion but they understand the reasoning.
- Outs Per Swing notes that if Longoria is demoted, Willy Aybar will start at third. They do not believe that Aybar's recent hamstring issues will have an effect on the team's decision regarding Longoria.
- Sports Indeed notes that Longoria is receiving a lot of playing time in the spring and wonders if this is an indication that he will be on the opening day roster.
- Rays Index predicts a May 26 debut for Longoria based on his arbitration clock.
Baseball America recently unveiled their lists of the Top 10 prospects in each organization. Many of these top prospects will make their major league debut in 2008 and a number of moves made this off-season have a direct impact on exactly when that will happen. With one week to go before pitchers and catchers report, and still no official announcement of an Erik Bedard trade, let's take a look at these speculations from the blogosphere.
- Red Reporter would not be surprised to see Jay Bruce start the year in Triple A, as they feel his strikeout totals suggest he may struggle early on the big leagues. However, the recent trade of Josh Hamilton to the Rangers suggest the Reds are at least entertaining the idea of starting Bruce in the big leagues despite beginning 2007 in Single-A.
- Sox & Dawgs projects that the last spot in the rotation will come down to Jon Lester or top prospect Clay Buchholz. The recent news of a shoulder injury for Curt Schilling makes it more likely for Buchholz to be on the opening day roster.
- Rays of Light believes that Evan Longoria is the top candidate for Rookie of the Year in the AL, if he starts the year on the Major League roster. It is believed that the Rays will make a decision prior to Spring Training, as it should not be impacted by the recent legal troubles of Willy Aybar or the signing of Eric Hinske.
- Dodger Thoughts feel that Clayton Kershaw will be in the Dodgers rotation by midseason. It is unclear if this decision will be impacted by a potential acquisition of Joe Blanton from the A's.
- Redbird Ramblings does not see Colby Rasmus making the Cardinals roster out of Spring Training without any experience in Triple A. However, they project that Rasmus will be manning center field for St. Louis and leading off at some point this season. The off-season trade of Jim Edmonds opened a spot for Rasmus.