New York Yankees Rumors: Should The Yankees Target Jay Bruce?


As the trade deadline approaches, the 2015 All-Star game hosts, the Cincinnati Reds, are expected to become major sellers, and the name being tossed around most is two-time All-Star Jay BruceAccording to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the New York Yankees “may seek a hitter, but it’s more likely to be one who bats right-handed”.

Bruce, who is owed $12.5 million in 2016, can block a trade to eight teams, including the Yankees.  If the teams were to strike a deal, it’s likely that he would require the team to pick up his $13 million team option for 2017.

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Although Bruce started the season very slowly, he has picked it up over the past month and a half.  Bruce, who was hitting an atrocious .162 on May 14, has posted a slash-line of .309/.389/.551 with eight home runs, 17 doubles, and 26 RBI’s over his last 49 games.  Over his last 22 games, he has hit .357 with four home runs, 11 doubles, and 13 RBI’s, meaning that his trade value could be higher than it’s been in years.

Reds manager Bryan Price was quick to praise Bruce for his turnaround:

"People look at him and see he’s at .245 or wherever he is, but this guy was at .160 in May.  That’s a lot of at-bats and a lot of time to make up in as far as getting your average up.  For those of us who have been around Jay for a fair bit, you always anticipate that the was going to get through it.  You just hope the frustration wasn’t something he couldn’t get away from.  He knows he’s a good player.  He fought through it.  He put in a lot of work on his swing and his approach.  He’s getting better pitches to hit in the zone.  We’re bearing the fruit of that approach."

While the Reds will look to take advantage of Bruce’s rising trade value, which has likely reached its peak, the Yankees should not be the team to deal for the resurgent right fielder.  Bruce could likely be an upgrade over Garrett Jones, but it would be a horrible move to give up prospects for a player to perform in a bench role.

With Carlos Beltran likely returning after the All-Star break, the Yankees outfield will once again be back to full strength.  Adding another outfielder to the mix only hinders Aaron Judge‘s likelihood of reaching the Major Leagues in 2015.  As Yankees GM Brian Cashman seems to be enamored by the development of the organizations top hitting prospect, it is unlikely he will add another overpaid veteran to the outfield to block Judge from reaching the Bronx.

Trading for Bruce is unnecessary, and if the Yankees do strike a deal for a position player, it should be one who bats from the right side, and has the ability to play the infield, such as Martin Prado.  Bruce feels like he will continue to improve, stating:

"I had a bad first month and 10 days.  I left myself with a hole to dig out of.  There’s still a lot of work to do.  I’m still not close to where I want to be.  I’m continuing to get better."

Even though Bruce has progressed mightily since coming out of the gates slumping, and says he will continue to get better, he should not be doing so on the Yankees.  The team has far more pressing needs, such as starting pitching, a right-handed reliever, or infield help, though the promotion of Rob Refsnyder may have temporarily cured the need for assistance.  The only way the Yankees should take on Bruce’s contract is if it is thrown into a larger deal, such as one for Johnny Cueto, or Aroldis Champan.

What do you think Yankees fans?  Should the team target Jay Bruce before the upcoming trade deadline?  Let us know in the comments below.

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