Source: Hot target Bruce has limited no-trade clause
CINCINNATI -- When the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline expired this past season, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce let out a big sigh of relief while sitting at his locker in the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park.
One thing that is certain this winter for Bruce is he will get to live that feeling of uncertainty all over again.
The rebuilding Reds have made it clear to all clubs that they are listening on anybody for potential trades. And Bruce has one of the more tradeable contracts on the club.
Bruce, who will turn 29 on April 3, is due to make $12.5 million in 2016 and has a $13 million club option for '17 with a $1 million buyout.
MLB.com confirmed that Bruce has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to eight clubs -- the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Rays, Marlins, Twins, Indians and D-backs. While some small-market teams are part of the mix, it seems likely that the deep-pocketed Yankees and Red Sox would provide leverage for Bruce should they seek to acquire him.
One big-market team not on the list is the Orioles. On Friday, Fox Sports reported that the Reds had discussions with Baltimore, but there was no momentum toward a trade.
Just before the Deadline last summer, the Reds and Mets were reportedly in serious talks for Bruce. The Mets instead wound up landing Yoenis Cespedes, who is now a free agent, leaving the National League champions again in need of a power-hitting outfielder.
Other clubs seeking corner outfield help are the Tigers, Astros and Angels
For many teams, Bruce would be a relative bargain for his left-handed power. The question is, which Bruce will be producing at the plate in 2016?
From 2010-13, Bruce averaged .262/.337/.489, 30 home runs and just under 94 RBIs. In 2014-15, the numbers dipped to a two-season average of .222/.288/.406 with 22 homers and 76 RBIs.
In 2015 alone, Bruce batted .226/.294/.434, but hit 26 homers with 87 RBIs.
Cincinnati is seeking young players in the zero-to-three-year service range or prospects that are nearly Major League ready. There are some in-house outfield options in prospects such as Yorman Rodriguez and Jesse Winker.
It would seem logical that the Reds might focus more attention on moving closer Aroldis Chapman, who is also available and in demand, before turning their attention to their other players.
A 2005 first-round Draft pick, Bruce was homegrown in the organization and has 208 career homers over eight seasons in Cincinnati. His departure would certainly drive the point home even more that it's indeed a new era for the Reds.