Jay Bruce is 25 years old and already under the Reds’ control through 2017 as part of a $51 million deal inked in December of 2010, but Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the outfielder wants to add six more years to his contract.
Here’s what Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Sheldon:
[Bruce] made it clear that he wants to be a Red his entire career. [Joey] Votto is in his wedding in a couple of weeks and he wants to play with him. He has a lot of friends there. He and his fiancee are very comfortable in Cincinnati. Jay asked me to approach the team and see if something is there. We’ll see if the team has any interest.
General manager Walt Jocketty told Sheldon that it hasn’t been discussed yet.
From the Reds’ point of view committing significantly more money so far into the future to a very good but not elite player they already have signed through age 30 would probably qualify as an unnecessary risk. Unless of course Bruce is willing to give them a major discount to sync his deal up to Votto’s, which runs through 2023 at a total cost of $225 million.
Bruce hit .252 with 34 homers in 155 games this year, posting an .841 OPS that ranked 12th among the 37 corner outfielders to qualify for the batting title. Combined during the past three seasons Bruce hit .262 with an .833 OPS in 460 games.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.