In this much-needed MLB All-Star Break, the Cincinnati Reds have many storylines surrounding their team. Obviously the All-Star game is one of them, but the topics of Pete Rose and Johnny Cueto‘s future can’t help but stay on the minds of baseball fans. However, another subject that has come up is the question of where Jay Bruce will end up.
It was reported a few days ago that the Reds were going to make their power-hitting right fielder available via trade. He’s currently batting .251, with an OBP of .341, a slugging percentage of .465, and an OPS of .806. Along with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs, those aren’t bad numbers for a midseason addition to a contending team’s offense.
Here are the top five teams that could trade for Bruce.
5. Minnesota Twins
The idea of the Twins going for Bruce is kind of out of right field (if you catch my drift), but it’s certainly a viable one. They are the team best suited to take over first place from the Kansas City Royals. And if they don’t, their record is on pace to still be good enough to shimmy into the playoffs as a Wild Card.
But if the team wants to almost guarantee themselves a spot for October baseball, adding a bat would be a good place to start — especially in the outfield. The Twins’ outfield is O.K., but it’s been all over the place this year. Torii Hunter, a vital part of this young team, is in right field as of now. But putting Jay Bruce in left field, or having him DH would also be great options as well.
Either way, Bruce would seriously help out this offense.
Ah, some meaningful baseball for loyal Twins fans. Haven’t said that in awhile.
4. New York Mets
The only reason that the Mets are higher than the Twins on this list is because the Mets’ need for a bat in their struggling lineup has been a topic for a few weeks now, whereas the Twins needing a bat really hasn’t exactly been a hot take.
For the Mets, getting a bat is as about as necessary as it gets if they want to make the postseason, and Bruce is exactly what the Mets want. They even have the assets to give away. If Bruce were on their team, they would easily be a threat to dethrone the first place Washington Nationals.
But there’s one problem.
They already have three outfielders they are committed to beyond this year in Juan Lagares, Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson. If the Mets were in the American League, one could pitch the idea that Bruce could be a DH, but unfortunately for them, they’re in the National League.
If Bruce were brought on to the team, they would have four outfielders, and it would almost be like a rotation of “Who’s the hottest?” and would probably upset all four of them.
The three outfielders the Mets currently have on their roster have not performed exceptionally, but Bruce would not represent a significant upgrade. The Mets may be pressed into acquiring an outfield bat if Michael Cuddyer’s knee issues flare up again.
The Mets deadline plans should revolve around picking up an infielder, but that’s a story for another day.
3. Houston Astros
The battle for the AL West crown, is looking like a war of attrition between the Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros. They are neck-and-neck for first place right now. It’s similar to a race between Usain Bolt and Jesse Owens in his prime.
Anyways, at the rate the Astros are going, they will at least be a Wild Card for October baseball, but the goal has become first place. To get that, and for Postseason aid, the Astros could use another power bat.
And Bruce would fit that description.
The question then becomes would Bruce be an upgrade from Rasmus or Tucker? And the answer is yes. Rasmus is only batting .237 with 11 home runs, while Tucker is hitting .256 with five home runs. Bruce would be an upgrade in left field and would certainly help the Astros already great power numbers become even better.
The addition of Bruce would definitely help the Astros win their newly created rivalry against the Angels, and even help them throughout the postseason.
Oh, the power numbers that team would have.
2. Los Angeles Angels
As stated earlier, the AL West has become the Angels vs. the Astros in a war of attrition. The question then becomes, who will win that war?
If the Angels got Bruce, they would definitely be the favorite.
They’re only higher than the Astros on this list because of the fact that they desperately need an outfielder. Matt Joyce, their left fielder, has been atrocious with a bat in his hands this year. The Angels already have Kole Calhoun in right field and Mike Trout in center, but are lacking a good, solid everyday left fielder.
That’s where Bruce comes in.
The Angels power numbers aren’t staggering considering they only come from two people: Trout and Albert Pujols. But with the addition of Bruce, they would have three legitimate threats throughout their lineup.
The addition of Bruce would solidify the Angels’ outfield situation and probably solidify them as the favorites in the AL West.
And maybe the favorites in the AL.
1. New York Yankees
Well of course the Yankees are number one on this list. Right now in the AL East, it’s a five-team race to see who makes the postseason. Considering no teams are staggeringly amazing, it will be the team who finishes in first that makes the postseason, while the other four will get their golf game going a little bit early.
The Yankees are currently 3.5 games ahead of the second place Tampa Bay Rays. For the Yankees to pull away from the other four teams in the East, they may need another bat in an already lethal lineup that has the second most home runs and RBIs in the league.
Bruce would certainly help the Yank’s lineup. The question then becomes where?
Carlos Beltran and surprisingly Chris Young have both done great jobs in right field this year. But, if they were to get Bruce, he would instantly become the favorite, at least in Yankees Stadium. The problem that the addition of Bruce would create is the logjam of outfielders that the Yankees would have. But, this could make Beltran and Young expendable, and both have created some serious value for themselves, especially Young.
One of the two, either Young or Beltran, could make for ideal trade bait for other teams so the Yankees could add some starting pitching.
Bruce would definitely help power the Yankees into the postseason.
And with that short right field porch in Yankees Stadium, the nickname “Bronx Bombers” would become an understatement.