The New York Mets have a deal in place to get another outfielder.
The Mets and Reds have a recreated deal in place for outfielder Jay Bruce, a source confirmed to Cover Those Bases. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported that the deal was done. In exchange for the slugger, the Reds will receive infielder Dilson Herrera and left-handed pitcher Max Wotell.
Medicals held up a different Jay Bruce deal that was supposed to be done earlier. That deal included outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who now stays with the Mets.
The addition of Bruce makes total sense for New York, who has needed some offensive help. The team ranks 22nd in the Major Leagues in OPS, and their outfield corps especially could use some upgrading.
At this moment in time, the Mets' outfield includes the likes of Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson. Conforto, in particular, has struggled against left-handed pitching and could use more seasoning in the minor leagues anyway.
This is where Bruce fits in.
The 29-year-old Bruce is hitting .265/.316/.559 with 25 home runs and 60 RBI this season over 402 plate appearances. He has a 125 wRC+, which is the best of his career. However, Bruce has been an atrocious defender, making him only worth 0.7 Wins Above Replacement. Defensive metrics, however, are not always 100 percent accurate.
Bruce will not be a free agent at the end of the season, as his deal includes a team option for 2017. With Yoenis Cespedes able to opt-out of his deal with the team, Bruce could be a good fit for next year's Mets outfield as well.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce was thought to have been a huge trade chip last season as a left-handed, power hitting outfielder that came with a year-and-a-half of team control.
Aug. 1 came and Jay Bruce was still a Red.
But this season, Bruce has an even higher chance to be traded. The Reds are 34-58, sitting in last in the NL Central and are in full rebuild-mode. Bruce is a free agent at the end of the season, finishing off of a six-year, $51 million contract. And teams need him.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, six teams have already checked in on Bruce. These are the Indians, Rangers, Nationals, Orioles, Giants and Dodgers. The Blue Jays have also reportedly shown interest in Bruce.
In addition, all six of these teams have been in the markets for other outfielders such as Ryan Braun, Josh Reddick and perhaps even Carlos Gonzalez.
The 29-year-old Bruce was picked by the Reds in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 2005 MLB Draft and has been a staple in their lineup ever since coming up to the Major Leagues.
The three-time All-Star (including 2016) is a defensive liability, however, many teams value offensive contributions, especially on the left-handed side of the plate.
This season, Bruce is hitting .265/.317/.532 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI over 353 plate appearances in 86 games. Though according to FanGraphs, Bruce has only been worth 0.1 Wins Above Replacement.
This is because of his defense. Bruce has an awful -20.6 ultimate zone rating per 150 games (UZR/150), meaning that he would be almost 21 runs worse than the average right fielder in terms of range and making defensive plays.
Over his career, Bruce has always been an offense-first player, carrying a .249/.319/.467 line with 226 home runs and 644 RBI in parts of nine seasons. His career wRC+ of 107 suggests that he has been seven percent better offensively than the league-average hitter. This year, his wRC+ is 118.
As the Aug. 1 trade deadline quickly approaches, it's more than likely Jay Bruce will find himself in a new home.
The Nationals, Reds, and Marlins are interested in right-handed starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Peter Gammons of MLB Network report.
Arroyo was in Cincinnati on January 22 to throw for the Reds, according to Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, though no deal is close.
Arroyo spent the 2015 season with three teams, the Diamondbacks, the Braves, and the Dodgers, but did not throw a single pitch, as he had Tommy John surgery.
The soon-to-be 39-year-old probably won't be looking for a long-term deal. He could be a veteran presence in any rotation, including Miami's, who has reportedly been connected to other veteran arms, like Doug Fister, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee.
Once one of the most durable pitchers in the Major Leagues, Arroyo threw 200 or more innings every single year from 2005 to 2013, excluding 2011, when he threw 199.
His last full season came in 2013, when he went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA and a 124 to 34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 202 innings pitched. He was worth 1.2 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement.
Arroyo has pitched 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, registering a 4.19 ERA and a 2.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2,364 2/3 innings pitched. He has been worth 24.8 fWAR in his career, pitching for the Reds, Pirates, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks.
The New York Yankees have acquired left-handed relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Jack Curry of the YES Network first reported the deal.
In exchange, the Reds received four prospects, including right-handed pitchers Rookie Davis and Caleb Cotham and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.
The biggest move in the trade is obviously Chapman to New York, which does constitute a big risk.
Chapman was reportedly involved in a domestic violence incident a few months ago, Yahoo! Sports reported during the Winter Meetings. At that time, the Reds were close to dealing Chapman to the Dodgers, but because of the allegations, the deal fell through.
With that said, Major League Baseball has a new domestic violence policy, where the commissioner has the chance to punish players how he feels necessary.
One interesting aspect to this saga is Chapman's free agent status. If he is put on MLB's restricted list in 2016 (in the event he is suspended), it is possible he could not reach six seasons of Major League Service Time, thus delaying his free agency to after the 2017 season. The Yankees must have taken this into consideration.
Domestic violence issues aside, Chapman adds another element to an already-dominant back-end of the Yankees bullpen. Alongside Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, New York now possesses the pitchers with the top three highest strikeout rates in baseball from 2014 to 2015. Chapman posted a 46.3 strikeout percentage (percent of plate appearances that ended in a strikeout), Miller posted a 41.6 percentage, and Betances posted a 39.5 percentage.
Chapman is easily the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball, easily hitting 100 MPH and topping out over 103. He will step into the closer's role in 2016, the position held by Miller last year.
In 2015, Chapman went 4-4 with a 1.63 ERA and a 116 to 33 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 66 1/3 innings pitched last season. He saved 33 games in 36 opportunities and was named to his fourth All-Star team in a row. According to FanGraphs, the Cuban lefty was worth 2.5 Wins Above Replacement.
For the Reds, the deal of Chapman helps their rebuilding efforts for the future. While none of the prospects they got are true headliners, Davis and Jagielo are projected to have a chance to make a true big league impact down the road.
Update, 10:30 P.M. ET: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals and Reds have an agreement in place on a deal that would send Phillips to Washington, however, he still has to approve any trade. This is likely why he is headed to D.C.
Over the past week, the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds have reportedly been discussing a potential trade that would would send Brandon Phillips east to D.C.
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported Thursday evening that these talks have "indeed advanced," responding to a tweet sent out by Brandon Phillips' verified Twitter account.
Phillips tweeted out a cryptic message just minutes prior to the report, saying, "513 to 202," with an airplane emoticon. 513 and 202 could be referring to area codes, as Cincinnati's main code is in fact the former and Washington's is the latter.
Phillips would make sense for the Nationals, as they recently traded 2015 second baseman Yunel Escobar to the Angels. The 34-year-old Phillips is a three-time All-Star at the position, but has begun to decline.
Last season, Phillips hit for a .294/.328/.395 slash line with 12 home runs and 70 RBIs over 623 plate appearances. He was worth 2.6 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.