It is no secret that Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has been investigating ways in which to upgrade the roster of his first place ball club.
The starting rotation, bullpen, and the Phillies bench are all areas of potential concern as the team tries to reach the postseason for the first time in eight years.
Now it appears that they have begun to fill those needs. A trade originally reported as being discussed on Saturday with the Seattle Mariners has reportedly been concluded now, with the Phillies obtaining veteran outfielder Jay Bruce.
Hearing the Jay Bruce deal is complete. Not out of question he is in Dodger Stadium for series finale today. Phillies need win to avoid sweep.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) June 2, 2019
Bruce fills a Phillies need to upgrade the bench and outfield mix perfectly. The 32-year-old is now in his 12th big-league season, and though no longer performing at an All-Star level, his left-handed power bat would be an absolute upgrade.
On Saturday afternoon, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Twitter that the Phillies were “nearing a deal” to acquire veteran outfielder Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners. However, he immediately followed that up with a comment that “they are not far enough along that a deal is imminent.”
The two bits of juicy information reportedly came from two different sources. The first source, according to Passan, was from within one of the two organizations.
Another source familiar with the Phillies-Mariners discussions on a Jay Bruce trade says they are not far enough along that a deal is imminent. The sides have talked about Bruce, Seattle is willing to deal him and Philadelphia needs a bench bat. No trade agreed to, however.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 1, 2019
He was the first round pick of the Cincinnati Reds at 12th overall back in the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Bruce quickly became one of the top prospects in the game, and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2008, finishing 5th in that year’s NL Rookie of the Year voting.
An All-Star with the Reds in 2011, 2012, and 2016, Bruce won Silver Slugger Awards in both 2012 and 2013. He also finished 10th in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting in those two seasons.
Bruce was dealt by Cincinnati to the New York Mets for a pair of prospects on August 1, 2016. The Mets dealt him to the Cleveland Indians just over a year later. He then re-signed with New York for three years and $39 million as a free agent in January 2018, but was traded to Seattle this past December.
So far in 2019, Bruce has regained his power stroke, having slammed a dozen homers. He has also knocked in 28 runs, scored 27, and has 25 extra-base hits. However, he is also hitting just .212 with a .283 on-base percentage. The Mariners have used him for 24 games in right field, six in left field, and in 16 at first base.
We’ll provide more information on this story here at Phillies Nation as any verifiable developments come available.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- 2019 MLB Power Ranking: June 1
- MLB Mock Draft 2.0: change to the Phillies pick, but it’s still a college arm
- Dodgers show why they are the NL’s top team in 6-3 victory over Phillies
- Larry Shenk’s Phillies Minor League Report: 6/1/19
- Phillies series opposition preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
- Bryce Harper begins to silence his early season critics
- Phillies 2019 first trimester report card: Vince Velasquez