Phillies Acquire Outfielder Jay Bruce
Yesterday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that the Phillies were nearing a trade with the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Jay Bruce. That was confirmed from Phillies insiders such as Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Word broke Sunday morning that a trade indeed was completed between the two clubs and that Bruce is headed to Philadelphia.
The return for the trade is currently unknown.
What is known is that Bruce will help lessen the blow that came from the absence of Odubel Herrera, who was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Herrera was placed administrative leave, pending an investigation by Major League Baseball. If found in violation of the joint agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, Herrera could face a suspension.
In the interim, Nick Williams returned to the Phillies in a role that Bruce may assume. Bruce likely will start some games in left field when Andrew McCutchen plays center field. The Phillies are currently without a traditional center fielder. Scott Kingery has played some center field, but he might be best suited to get some at bats at third base.
Bruce will also provide some power from the left side. Bruce has hit 14 home runs and 11 doubles to bring his slugging percentage to .533. Though he does not hit for average (he is batting just .212) his OPS is .816 as of the time of the trade. Bruce is signed through next season.
The Phillies will continue to look for pitching help, even after the trade.
UPDATE: The Phillies and Mariners officially announced the trade just after 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The Phillies will receive Bruce in exchange for minor league third baseman Jake Scheiner. Scheiner is at Class-A Advanced Clearwater and batting .256 on the season, with two home runs and 20 runs batted in. The trade may also clear space at Clearwater for top Phillies prospect Alec Bohm.
The Mariners will pay over $18 million of the $21 million plus that Bruce is owed this season and next season, according to the Associated Press. That means the Phillies have plenty of money remaining for other moves as the team approaches the July 31 trade deadline.
This is an early sign the Phillies plan to be aggressive.