* OF Jay Bruce a left-handed hitting power bat would be a good fit for the Blue Jays IF the Cincinnati Reds did not want two of the Blue Jays young arms and IF he didn't have a no-trade clause to Toronto. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list …. Canadians in College 2016 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
By Bob Elliott
Yes, the Blue Jays have inquired about Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce.
Yet there will have to be a lot of movement on both sides before Joey Votto’s dear friend winds up being in left field at the Rogers Centre on opening day next season.
Currently, the Jays are ready to open with a platoon of Andy Dirks and Kevin Pillar in left to replace free agent Melky Cabrera. Pillar made 30 starts for the 2014 Jays, while Dirks, recovering from back surgery, had 14 starts at three stops in the Detroit Tigers minor-league system.
Bruce, 28 next April, is coming off a horrible year with the Reds. He had 21 doubles, one triple, 18 homers, knocked in 66 runs and hit .217 in 137 games with a .654 OPS.
In Bruce’s previous four seasons The Great American Ballpark couldn’t hold the left-handed hitter as he averaged 32 doubles, 30 homers, 94 RBIs, a .262 batting average and an .826 OPS.
Bruce will earn $12 million US next season, $12.5 million in 2016, and has a $13 million option in 2017 which includes a $1 million buy out. The Jays are one of a handful of teams that Bruce can block a trade.
The Reds are looking for “inexpensive major-league ready players” according to scouts from another team familiar with what the Reds are seeking in trade talks.
You mean someone like lefty Sean Nolin who was at triple-A Buffalo this season?
“More than that,” said the scout. “And the way I heard it ... there was an ‘s’ on the word players.”
All make $600,000 or less.
And the Jays have big plans for all three.
Rasmus lost his job in September, but owned the centre field job for 19 of the 20 months he was in a Jays uniform.
The search continues.
Briefly: Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star was named the 2014 winner of the Jack Graney award Tuesday. The honor is presented by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Griffin has worked for the Star since 1995 after breaking into the Montreal Expos P.R. department in 1978.