A proposed deal that involved the Blue Jays, the Reds, and the Angel fell apart last night, reportedly duet to medical concerns involving one of the players involved in the deal. The deal as proposed worked out like this: The Blue Jays would receive Jay Bruce from Cincinnati, Michael Saunders would head to the Angels from Toronto, and the Reds would receive at least one prospect from the Blue Jays. It’s unclear who the Angels would have provided in the deal. Speculation at one time was that it was Sander’s knee that caused the issue (Which caused him to miss most of last season), however, later reports are now that it was a now unnamed Blue Jay’s minor leaguer who raised the red flag.
For now, the talks appear to be dead, although there’s always the possibility that an arrangement could be still worked out. It’s also possible that additional teams will enter the mix for Bruce, now that it’s a little more publicly known the low price tag the Reds are seeking for his services.
For the Reds, Bruce would be the latest in a long string of veteran departures that has also included Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Marlon Byrd, Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman. Bruce would be unlikely to command a large return, since he’s hit just .222/.288/.406 in the last two seasons. He might, however, be in line for somewhat of a resurgence in 2016 if his batting average on balls in play (which was just .251 last season) improves a bit. When he does make contact, he has largely retained his ability to hit for power, hitting 26 home runs last season.
The Baltimore Orioles have also recently been reported to be looking in on Jay Bruce, although that may be more of a matter of positioning as they continue negotiations with Dexter Fowler.