TUESDAY: The medical concerns were in regard to a Blue Jays minor leaguer involved in the deal who was presumably going to the Reds, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). With this trade at least temporarily off, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan wonders if other teams could approach the Reds with offers for Bruce since they seem open to dealing him for a fairly low price.
11:15pm: Talks are “dead” for the time being, Olney tweets.
11:06pm: The reason for the holdup is that one of the teams found an issue with one of the players’ medicals, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets, clarifying that the player in question was not Bruce. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, meanwhile, tweets that someone close to the talks believes the problem is Saunders’ knee, an injury to which caused him to miss most of last season.
10:47pm: Some of the parties discussing the deal now doubt it will come to fruition, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets. The reasons for the hitch are currently unclear.
8:44pm: The three teams are reviewing medical records of the players involved, tweets Rosenthal.
8:20pm: The deal is nearing completion, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.
6:36pm: The current deal has Bruce going to Toronto, Saunders heading to Anaheim and prospects going to the Reds, Heyman tweets. That suggests the Angels, who have a very weak farm system, will be providing the prospects.
6:13pm: Bruce does not currently have the Jays on his no-trade list, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
6:03pm: Heyman tweets that the proposed deal between the Jays and Reds actually also involves the Angels, with Saunders heading from Toronto to Anaheim in the deal. The Jays and Reds also discussed a three-team deal with the Athletics, but that trade is no longer on the table, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets.
5:44pm: Reds outfielder Jay Bruce remains on the trade market, and they could be in the process of trading him to the Blue Jays, Jon Heyman tweets. If the Jays were to acquire Bruce, he would likely play mostly left field, with Jose Bautista in right. Toronto’s top left field options currently include Michael Saunders, who missed most of last season due to injury, and 23-year-old Dalton Pompey.
For the Reds, Bruce would be the latest in a long string of veteran departures that has also included Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Marlon Byrd, Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman. Bruce would be unlikely to command a large return, since he’s hit just .222/.288/.406 in the last two seasons. He might, however, be in line for somewhat of a resurgence in 2016 if his batting average on balls in play (which was just .251 last season) improves a bit. When he does make contact, he has largely retained his ability to hit for power, hitting 26 home runs last season.
Still, Bruce will make $12.5MM in 2016, plus a $1MM buyout or a $13MM option in 2017, and while those figures aren’t exorbitant, he’s far from a bargain at that price. The Orioles have also recently been connected to Bruce, although at last check, their interest wasn’t particularly strong.