Jay Bruce’s name dominated headlines last night as the longtime Reds outfielder was reportedly on the verge of being dealt to the Blue Jays in a three-team trade (also involving the Angels) before the medical reviews of another player involved derailed the would-be deal. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted today that an official involved in the deal told him it’s “doubtful” that a new iteration of the trade will be drawn up, suggesting that the Reds will have to explore other opportunities if they’re still seeking to trade Bruce. Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that the Reds sought to shed all of the money that is owed to Bruce, adding that the asking price on Bruce is lower than some might expect it to be.
A few additional notes on the Bruce situation (including comments from Bruce himself) and on the Reds…
- Bruce openly addressed the trade talk with reporters this morning, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans write. Bruce said that his main focus is, to the best of his ability, to prevent the trade rumors surrounding his name from becoming a distraction to his teammates over the course of Spring Training. “I don’t want to have to come in every single day and talk to guys and honestly, answer the same questions,” Bruce explained. “It’s nothing against y’all. Y’all are just trying to do a job, I understand that. We’re in a special situation as it is here with this organization with the team. We have to be focused on the field. We have to focus on the task at hand. I don’t want this to become something every single day.” Bruce added the he would “completely understand” if something ultimately did happen, expressing a recognition of the game’s business component, but repeated that from his point of view, “I’m a Red until I’m not.” Both the Enquirer (link) and MLB.com (link) have video of some of Bruce’s comments.
- Even with the Reds rebuilding, Joey Votto hopes to remain with the team for the long haul, writes Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We rode out some (stuff) last year,” Votto explained to reporters. “If I can ride that out and have a good time and be optimistic, I can handle just about anything. As long as we continue to head in the right direction, I’m very excited and proud to be a Red. I’m motivated by being a part of the future.” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick was also on hand and notes that Votto expressed that it was difficult to see so many of his teammates and friends traded over the past year but also looks forward to getting to know new teammates and forming new bonds as his Reds career continues. Votto is owed $199MM over the next eight seasons and has a full no-trade clause included in his 10-year, $225MM contract, so even if the Reds wanted to move him, he’d have plenty of say in the matter.
- Brandon Phillips deflected questions when asked about his decision to invoke his own no-trade rights rather than approve a trade to the Nationals, Sheldon writes. “I don’t know nothing about that stuff,” Phillips said. “I’m just here to play this game that I love. I’m just happy to still be wearing this Reds jersey.” Phillips added that he didn’t hear much about talk of prospect Jose Peraza, acquired in the Todd Frazier trade, challenging for playing time. Peraza would’ve been in line to be the team’s everyday second baseman had Phillips been traded, but he’ll see some time at shortstop and in center field this spring in addition to some reps at second base, manager Bryan Price told Rosecrans and other reporters earlier this week.