Reds president of baseball operations told reporters, including Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer and MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, that interest in Jay Bruce has been surprisingly tepid to this point in the summer. While a number of clubs have reached out to him on Bruce, Jocketty contends that the offers have been shockingly weak to this point, telling Buchanan, “You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff,” in reference to the packages offered by interested parties. While the immediate assumption might be that the Reds are asking too much, Jocketty sounds fairly grounded in his expectations, telling Buchanan: “We want a legitimate prospect. The guy’s a valuable player.”
- It would seem, then, that the Reds would be content to move Bruce for a package centering around one quality prospect — a seemingly reasonable expectation for a player that is slashing .271/.323/.572 with 25 homers on the season. Jocketty suggested that he expects added action over the weekend, but added that “basically the same clubs” have been sniffing around on the veteran with no teams being “really aggressive” to this point. Defensive metrics do peg Bruce as one of the worst defenders in all of baseball this season, though Buchanan notes that he’s spoken to evaluators with other clubs who don’t believe Bruce’s glovework to be nearly as poor as Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating would otherwise depict.
- Jocketty says there hasn’t been any action on shortstop Zack Cozart, who is playing a quality shortstop. The trouble there seems to be that there just isn’t a clear need on a contender. With another season of affordable control to go, he is probably more likely to be dealt in the winter.
- In terms of the team’s pitching, Jocketty suggested there’s no real likelihood of righties Anthony DeSclafani and Dan Straily changing uniforms. “I don’t think we’d consider anything,” Jocketty said of the former. “Clubs inquire about certain players, but never want to trade you anything, so what’s the point?” As for Straily, Buchanan suggests there’s “no thought” of a deal since he’s a functional and affordable arm that would not draw a notable trade return.
- Buchanan also notes that relievers such as Ross Ohlendorf, Blake Wood, and Tony Cingrani could conceivably be dealt if there’s interest, as all will rise in price next year. None have been particularly impressive, with Wood and Cingrani posting solid earned run averages without the peripherals to match. Ohlendorf is striking out better than a batter per nine and will be a free agent after the season; his mid-nineties fastball and old-time charm could make him a depth option.
- Meanwhile, the Reds announced today that long-injured righty Homer Bailey has been activated for a start on Sunday. The 30-year-old last appeared early in 2015 and is on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery. After originally charting an aggressive schedule, the team slowed him down after a few hiccups along the way. Cinci extended Bailey just before the 2014 campaign, which was his last before qualifying for free agency, agreeing to a six-year, $105MM pact. Over 2012-13, Bailey put up 417 innings of 3.58 ERA pitching, leading to the investment, but he wasn’t quite as good in the first year of his new deal before succumbing to arm troubles. Needless to say, his ability to return to form will be an important storyline for a Reds club that still has a good amount of money invested in several aging players.