JB: Bruce still Jay, just not a Blue Jay

The Trade That Wasn’t
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away

The birds tweeting on Twitter about the Blue Jays were saying that Jay Bruce was about to become a Blue Jay. Reporter Jon Heyman was getting the fans in a tizzy, reporting that Cincinnati was going to send Jay Bruce to Toronto with Michael Saunders going to the Los Angeles Angels in a three-way trade. Before the night was over, however, ESPN’s Buster Olney had squashed the rumours with Ken Rosenthal providing a bit more depth this morning.

Hearing proposed deal Is 3-way. Bruce would go to Jays, Michael Saunders to angels

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 23, 2016
 

Heyman’s tweet started a flurry of questions about Jay Bruce. What kind of player was he? Was he better than Saunders? I got this tweet from @NathanHam87 in response to my question:

@JaysFromAway Hits homers, sucks with RISP, can’t hit breaking pitches, will walk every now and then. There’s your research, from a Reds fan

— Nathan Ham (@NathanHam87) February 23, 2016

My immediate response, particularly after looking at Bruce’s line for the past few years, was that he was very much like Colby Rasmus. After pointing this out to Mr. Ham (cited above), he responded with this:

@JaysFromAway Wow. Eerily similar numbers. Didn’t realize that. Rasmus: .245/.313/.443 Bruce: .248/.319/.462

— Nathan Ham (@NathanHam87) February 23, 2016

But then . . . around 10:45pm, Buster Olney tweeted “There is doubt among those involved in the Jay Bruce talks that the deal will be completed.” Blue Jays fans were actually relieved at this point with word coming out this morning from Ken Rosenthal that medical concerns over a Blue Jays’ minor leaguer are what killed the deal, not concerns over Michael Saunders’s knee.

So, we’re back to where we started. Michael Saunders is a Blue Jay and Jay Bruce isn’t. 

I don’t know about you, but for me having Bruce at more than three times Saunders’ salary for a player who has a .222/.288/.406 slash line in the last two years with 44 home runs and 294 strikeouts in 1194 plate appearances isn’t an upgrade. Yes, Saunders is a big ol’ question mark but if we look at his last two full seasons (2013-2014), he’s got a .250/.330/.416 line in 731 plate appearances with 20 home runs and 177 strikeouts. Additionally, Bruce is mostly a right fielder who would have been slid over to left to take over from Saunders and/or Dalton Pompey.

What do you think? Bruce or Saunders/Pompey?

 

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All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2015) and may not be used without permission.

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Jay Blue

A lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, Jay Blue started blogging about the Jays when he was living in Berlin, Germany. He founded his own blog, Blue Jays from Away, to write about developments with his home town team, focusing on the Jays' minor league system. When he's not watching baseball, he is usually on the diamond umpiring or he's pursuing his research interests in the field of ethnomusicology.