Yasiel Puig, Jay Bruce

The trade deadline is just around the corner, and things are heating up. The Cincinnati Reds are entertaining a number of offers for Jay Bruce, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. One proposed avenue is the Dodgers swapping Yasiel Puig for the Reds outfielder.

Right now, it seems like the Mets are the closest team to Bruce. Cincinnati don’t want elite prospects, but they do want two or three good players from the next tier of prospects, however they’re evaluated. There are other teams mentioned, like the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners, and maybe the Reds are talking to more about Bruce, but it does seem that right now, options #1 and #2 are New York and Los Angeles.

The Dodgers seem to be a surprising candidate all of a sudden, but they feel like swapping good defense for good offense works for them. Puig has been a questionable trading piece this season, but it seems that with their sights sets on a slugger who has re found his touch this season, the Dodgers are willing to part ways with their 25-year old talent, who looked like one of the biggest phenoms in baseball when he first started out.

If the Reds avenue collapses, the Dodgers can try and work out a deal with the same teams that have been trying to get to Bruce. The Mariners, the Minnesota Twins who are disappointed with Miguel Sano, and the Tampa Bay Rays who have one of the worst outfields in baseball. The Rangers might also be an option, and non-contenders should be taken into account to because of Puig’s contract running through 2018, but for now the Dodgers hope to move Puig for proven talent, not prospects who might pay off down the line.

This has been a terrific season for Bruce, making the All-Star game for third time in his career. After a rough 2014-2015 stretch, he’s batting .268 with a .885 OPS. He’s already hit 25 home runs this season, and his 80 RBIs is the most in the National League. His full season salary is $12.5 million, and there’s a $13 million team option for 2017.

Puig, besides his off the field issue, has been an offensive disappointment. He’s batting a career low .254 and .690 OPS, hitting 7 home runs with 32 RBIs. An All-Star in 2014, he’s still impressive with his arm and defense (most of the time) in right field, but his batting has really disappointed the Dodgers. He makes $7.2 million this season, $8.2 million in 2017 and $9.2 million in 2019.

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