The Cincinnati Reds have pressed the rebuild button as strong as humanly possible, getting rid of almost every possible asset over the last few months, but guess what? Their attempts to trade away players for prospects aren’t done.
The Reds are as busy as always, even though they’ve managed to complete the complicated deal of sending Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees, who ignored his potential suspension and domestic violence alleged offense. They’ve deal Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake last season, and sent Todd Frazier away in a big three team deal with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. They were close to trading Brandon Phillips away, but that deal eventually fell apart.
Right now it seems Jay Bruce is their number one priority of moving away. Bruce is a two-time All-Star and twice a Silver Slugger award winner, who hit 26 home runs last season although his batting average has significantly dipped since the 2014 season. He is making $12.5 million in 2015, and the Reds have a club option worth $13 million in 2016. Right now there don’t seem to be a lot of takers for Bruce, who can provide power to any outfield, almost exclusively from the right field position.
Phillips is a more complicated issue because he has a no-trade clause, and he doesn’t really want to leave. He actually waived that so a deal with the Washington Nationals could get done, but it fell through in the end, and right now it looks like the 34-year old who is still hitting at a high level (.294 batting average last season) doesn’t want to be anywhere else. The Reds are hoping they manage to find a team and city that’s enticing enough to convince him to leave, which means getting rid of the $27 million they owe him over the next two years.