The Cincinnati Reds have been able to trade almost everyone they’ve wanted, except for Jay Bruce. But they’re not giving up. Neither are the Milwaukee Brewers, who are hoping to find a team to deal with for Jonathan Lucroy by the end of Spring Training.
The Reds already had a way out with Bruce, dealing him to the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-team trade. However, one of the minor league players involved in the trade didn’t pass his medical, and the deal collapsed. For now, the Reds are stuck with a player making $25.5 million over the next two seasons, although his $13 million in 2017 are pending a team option, so basically, unless Bruce has a really big 2016, it’s a one year deal they’re trying to ship off.
The 28-year old rightfielder was doing great from 2011 through 2013, but in the last two seasons is hitting just .222 with a .695 OPS. He did bounce back a little bit in 2015 with 26 home runs, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him get back to around 30 home runs a season, but for now, there don’t seem to be too many teams believing in his ability to make that comeback, at least not for the price it takes to get him and pay him.
The Brewers have been looking for someone to take Lucroy off their hands for months, which is surprising that they’ve failed considering he’s making only $4 million in 2016 and has a $5.25 million team option contract in 2016. He’ll be turning 30 in June, and although he likes it in Milwaukee, Lucroy isn’t too keen on being part of a rebuilding project that could be taking more than one season, so it’s obviously a difficult spot for him too.
One issue with Lucroy, which is why the Brewers are trying to move him, is his fitness. He missed 59 games last season with a toe injury and a concussion, which has a lot of teams (including the Brewers) worried about the rest of his career. Like Bruce, he had a rough 2015 which changed the way teams perceive his value. He was batting a .297 with a .831 OPS from 2012 through 2014, but dropping to a .264 in 2015 and especially those injuries have made it difficult for the Brewers moving a catcher that usually should have been chased by half the league.