Reds outfielder Jay Bruce has a limited no-trade clause, but doesn’t intend to use that to hold up a deal to a contending club this summer, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Bruce sits at the top overall spot on MLBTR’s most recent top trade candidates list.
The NTC would let Bruce reject deals to the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Rays, Marlins, Twins, Indians and Diamondbacks. Jon Heyman of todaysknuckleball.com repored earlier today that Bruce would quite likely be willing to go to Cleveland, and it appears that he’d also be amenable to other hypothetical landing spots. Rumblings have connected Bruce to a variety of clubs, including the Dodgers, Giants, White Sox, and Royals since the start of the season.
Bruce, 29, tells Sheldon that he’s willing to “consider waiving the no-trade clause for all types of reasons,” with “no blanket reason I wouldn’t.” The veteran said he’d need to take each situation as it comes, with agent Matt Sosnick saying that such a choice has yet to be brought to their attention.
Bruce continued on to emphasize that he’d be quite interested in an opportunity to join an organization that has designs on contending. “If I am moved, which has seemed likely for the last year and a half, I’d like to go where the team is mostly likely to win,” he said. “Teams that want me are likely seeking somebody to help them win.”
Notably, Sosnick suggested that Bruce won’t necessarily be looking to utilize the clause for leverage with regard to his contract. “We’re not setting in stone any financial qualifiers,” he said. “If the deal is good for Jay and good for the Reds, he would consider anything — including waiving the no-trade. … There is no team that he would unequivocally not go to.”
Bruce has increasingly cemented his status as a premium trade piece, as he is once again hitting like the All-Star-caliber player he was from 2011 through 2013. The two intervening seasons are easier and easier to forget, as he carries a .279/.325/.568 slash with 17 home runs and a league-leading six triples into July. Bruce’s early-career extension is another asset: he’s earning $12.5MM this year and can be controlled for $13MM in 2017, which is particularly appealing with a dearth of young sluggers on the upcoming free agent market.