Projecting Dodgers Trade Package For Reds Outfielder Jay Bruce
Projecting Dodgers Trade Package For Reds Outfielder Jay Bruce
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

With word circulating that the Los Angeles Dodgers have interest in Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, it’s time to look at what the Dodgers should give up in a trade for him.

Bruce has been one of the league’s best power hitters this season, with 25 home runs and a .572 slugging percentage entering play on Friday night. The 29-year-old is under control through the 2017 season thanks to a $13 million club option.

Bruce is having the best offensive season of his career, though his peripherals aren’t noticeably improved. He’s walked two percent less than his career average, though he’s also lowered his strikeout rate. Defensively, he’s been one of the more volatile players in the league according to defensive metrics.

Defensive Runs Saved has him at 12 runs below average this year, while he was five runs above average in 2015. Most importantly, insiders are speculating that this could spell the end of Yasiel Puig’s tenure in Los Angeles.

However, were Bruce acquired, there’s the possibility he’d move to left field in deference to Puig, with Joc Pederson in center. Also, there’s still no timetable on Andre Ethier’s return and Trayce Thompson has options remaining, so there’s room for both Bruce and Puig in the outfield.

Now, to the important question: what do the Dodgers included in a trade package for Bruce? Reports indicate Cincinnati is looking for bats. Los Angeles a solid handful in the upper levels of the Minors, specifically Double-A Tulsa.

While the Dodgers would probably prefer to hold onto Cody Bellinger and deal Willie Calhoun, the tipping point may be if they’re is willing to deal Alex Verdugo. He’s hit well for the Drillers as a 20-year-old and is probably just one more year away from the Majors.

While Verdugo would be a solid headliner, the Reds would likely require another player who is close to being Major-League ready. If they’re after a pitcher, it’s extremely doubtful that Jose De Leon would be involved.

However, his Triple-A Oklahoma City teammates could garner interest. Righties Jharel Cotton and Brock Stewart get a long look from the Reds, as both are ready for the big leagues this year. And, because most teams could use a good catching prospect, the Reds may have interest in Austin Barnes.

A lesser piece would likely sweeten the deal. In examining what it may take to pry Chris Archer away from the Tampa Bay Rays, Chase De Jong and Josh Sborz were mentioned as potential trade chips.

However, if the Reds are hell bent on acquiring bats, they could have interest in someone like Edwin Rios, who was recently promoted to Double-A after clubbing 16 home runs in 42 games with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

The Dodgers have an abundance of athletic but raw outfielders, such as Jacob Scavuzzo, Ariel Sandoval and Johan Mieses. If the Reds are looking long-term, shortstops Omar Estevez and Brendon Davis could be enticing.

So what would it take? If the Dodgers feel comfortable with moving Verdugo, adding Cotton and Rios, it should get the Reds’ attention. The initial projection for what it would take to acquire admittedly was low as the market has skyrocketed out of control.

Should the Dodgers include Verdugo in a trade for Bruce? Let us know in the comments below or reply to us (@JaredJMassey and @DodgerBlue1958) on Twitter!