With the Aug. 1 trade deadline closing in, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce is “a bit surprised” to still be in Cincinnati, he told FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, who writes that the 29-year-old would likely waive his limited no-trade clause to play for a contender.
“What I want most is the chance to play in a World Series,” said Bruce, who can block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Rays, Marlins, Twins, Indians and Diamondbacks, Heyman reported last month.
Of that group, only the Red Sox, Marlins and Indians are above .500. Boston and Miami are on the hunt for pitching more than an outfielder, though, per Heyman, who expects Bruce would waive his no-trade clause to remain in Ohio with the Indians despite recently adding them to his no list.
“I’m not ruling anything out,” Bruce stated. “But I think it would be shortsighted to rule out a team that wanted me and has a chance to win. I’d likely have to at least strong consider it.”
Aside from the Tribe, the defending World Series champion Royals and other playoff hopefuls – the Blue Jays and perhaps the Giants and Nationals (previous report via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal) – could try to augment their outfields and-or first base situations by the deadline. That might put them in the market for Bruce, who has rebounded from back-to-back subpar offensive seasons to post a .267/.315/.538 line with 18 home runs in 343 trips to the plate this year.
Bruce’s strong output at the plate over the first few months of the 2016 campaign earned him his third career All-Star selection, though advanced fielding metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved are heavily down on his work in right. Because of that, fWAR grades Bruce as a replacement-level player this year. But it’s up for debate how much of a defensive liability Bruce actually is, as FanGraphs’ August Fagerstrom detailed last week.
The way teams assess his defense could certainly impact the trade value of Bruce, who’s on a $12.5MM salary for the remainder of this season and is controllable by way of a $13MM club option next year.
“I’m interested to see what happens,” said Bruce, who’s no stranger to potential deals after the Blue Jays nearly acquired him from the Reds over the winter.