Under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman the Los Angeles Dodgers have shied away from shipping away any top prospects, and resorted to creative measures to complete trades. The club appeared headed in that direction with Friday’s report of a three-team deal for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said to be in the works.
It evoked memories of the Dodgers completing a three-team, 13-player trade with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins last August, and their trade last December with the Reds and Chicago White Sox. The complex deals have afforded Los Angeles the luxury of retaining prospects by serving as a landing spot for bad contracts that their deep pockets can absorb.
With their reported pursuit of Bruce, the Dodgers are believed to be shopping right fielder Yasiel Puig. His inclusion in a potential trade stands to reason considering the Dodgers appear comfortable with their myriad of options in left field.
However, while the Dodgers may complete a trade for Bruce prior to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, the multi-team deal no longer appears to be on the table, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark:
Reds, Dodgers still talking about Jay Bruce. But a source says that 3-way deal isn't going to happen. It was fun while it lasted!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 30, 2016
The identity of the third team never came to light. It was speculated, then refuted, that the Tampa Bay Rays were involved. The Dodgers are believed to be in contact with the Rays regarding their starting pitchers.
Bruce on Friday had his string of consecutive games with at least one home run snapped at five. He tied a franchise record with the five-game stretch of homers. On the season he’s batting .268/.319/.566 with 22 doubles, 25 home runs and 80 RBIs.