It’s one day before Major League Baseball’s 2016 trade deadline, and MLB trade rumors are building to a fever pitch. Two of the biggest names still on the market may be finding new teams within hours: Jay Bruce (Dodgers) and Carlos Beltran (Astros).
According to Sports Illustrated, as many as eight teams are vying for Bruce’s services. However, as the trade deadline nears, the front-runner appears to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are looking for help in the outfield, and the Cincinnati Reds are clearly looking to unload players in an effort to retool for next season and beyond. The Dodgers are also hoping to trade outfielder Yasiel Puig, but the Reds do not appear to be interested in acquiring him as part of a package for Jay Bruce.
The Dodgers are becoming increasingly impatient with Puig, who’s performance on the field has gone steadily downhill over time. Replacing him with Bruce in right field would be an upgrade, and also give Los Angeles a quality left-handed hitter (which is something they are seeking).
Carlos Beltran has also drawn a great deal of interest during July, and Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Houston Astros headline a group of teams pursuing Beltran. One of the sticking points in a potential trade for Beltran is the fact that teams are asking the New York Yankees to cover part of Beltran’s salary as part of a possible deal. Reports indicate that unless the Yankees are presented with an offer they really like, they are probably not going to cover any significant portion of Carlos Beltran’s contract.
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The Yankees are used to being “buyers” in the MLB trade market, but they are not going anywhere in 2016, so they are trying to accumulate assets for some of their high-priced talent. Closer Aroldis Chapman has been sent to the Chicago Cubs, and Carlos Beltran could be the next star to exit the Big Apple.
Jay Bruce was the Reds’ first-round pick in the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. Bruce made his MLB debut in 2008 for Cincinnati and has been a steady cog in the Reds’ lineup ever since. Bruce has never been a player to hit for average, but he has displayed consistent power, hitting as many as 34 home runs in a season (2012). Jay Bruce has been an MLB All-Star three times, including the current 2016 season. In recent years, Cincinnati has jettisoned much of their talent in an attempt to rebuild with prospects, and Bruce appears to be the latest star player the Reds are offering to contending teams around the league.
Carlos Beltran, at the age of 39, continues to play well for the New York Yankees. Beltran is in his 19th year as a Major League Baseball player, having played for six teams since his rookie season in 1998. Beltran has an impressive .281 career batting average and has hit 413 career home runs. Even though he isn’t quite the player he once was, he is still having a very good 2016 season, currently hitting .301 with 21 home runs for New York. Beltran is a nine-time MLB All-Star and was a member of the 2016 American League squad that won in Petco Park earlier this month.
This time of year, MLB trade rumors are popping up everywhere as teams either try to bolster their roster for a playoff run, or look to make moves with their future in mind. Within hours, we’ll know what lies ahead for Jay Bruce and Carlos Beltran as the Dodgers and Astros work to complete deals for them before the MLB trade deadline on August 1.
[Photo by Gary Landers/AP Images]