Jay Bruce has been a staple in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He was hyped up to the fans throughout his minor league days and moved relatively quickly through the organization making his debut when he was 21. The soon to be 29 year old has been the subject of many trade rumors over the past year as it is no secret that the Reds are rebuilding.
While he will most likely not be traded until trade deadline with most of the big outfield free agents off the board, it is still possible that he would be traded before the season starts.
Bruce had been someone who was improving in every category each year. Then he had an injury that set him back and has been regressing ever since. His power numbers are down, he’s not driving in the runs he once was, and he is not hitting for average. For a rebuilding team keeping a 29 year old struggling outfielder does not make much sense. It is likely that a change of scenery to a contender would help him.
While looking at teams who might want Bruce I came across many possibilities. The Orioles, Angels, Astros and Giants all came up in my searches, but there was one team that I think he would fit in with perfectly, the Indians.
The Indians are desperately in need of a right fielder as they have Lonnie Chisenhall listed on their website as their starter. Bruce would be a massive upgrade and would add even more power to a lineup that is already ripe with it.
Because he is a solid defender the Indians would be getting a great upgrade there. Bruce has made some incredible plays not only with the glove during his time at Great American but, also with his cannon of an arm. The one thing that has been consistent throughout his trying times at the plate has been his defense.
Bruce would give them way more power than Chisenhall would. He would be given protection up and down the line up which could only help his batting average and runs driven in. Also he would be able to help the offense early in the season until Brantley came back from injury.
Let me ask you Indians fans, would you love to see an outfield that features Rajai Davis, Michael Brantley, and Jay Bruce? Let me answer for you, yes.
The Indians already have solid pitching led by Corey Kluber and he would fit the biggest need they have. Also he could DH as he aged and could be a staple in the Indians organization for years to come.
The next question Indians fans would be asking is, what would we have to give up to get him? I would respond with not a whole lot for what you would be getting. As we have all seen the Reds are completely rebuilding and have been taking some trades that have been questioned by the fans and experts alike. They are desperate to reduce the payroll and really blow this thing up.
So the Indians would most likely need to give up a few middle tier prospects or one top prospect and a lower tier prospect.
I would imagine the trade might look something like this, Jay Bruce for Jose Ramirez, James Ramsey, and Shawn Armstrong.
The Reds would be getting a decent return while the Indians would only be losing a depth player who has not panned out the way they had hoped, a number 12 prospect who is slated behind the likes of Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier and a number 27 prospect who is a middle reliever.
Jose Ramirez has been a highly touted prospect but has not panned out all that well for the Indians. Now with and infield of Jason Kipnis, Rookie of the Year runner up Francisco Lindor, and Giovanny Urshela who is solid with the glove and is probably the Indians 3rd basemen of the future, Ramirez will be a bench player. He would be the main piece in this deal.
Reds fans might be asking why another infielder? Well Ramirez is still only 23 years old and has plenty of potential that could be unlocked with a change of scenery. He would add to a young future infield with Peraza at 2nd and Ramirez or Suarez playing SS or 3rd seeing as either could play both positions.
The Reds would also be getting a solid prospect in James Ramsey who was a former 1st round pick with power and a lively arm in Armstrong who could earn himself a bullpen spot.
What is most important to the Reds though is that all three of these players are basically Major League ready players which is something that the Reds Front Office has been saying they wanted all along.
The Indians would get their rightfielder that they desperately need to help them compete and the Reds would get three solid Major League ready prospects in return.
What do all of you Indians and Reds fans think of this trade? Tell me if I am stupid or a genius either in the comment section below, on twitter @roberthaness, on our facebook page, or on the forums!