Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the Mariners and Phillies are discussing a potential deal involving Seattle outfielder Jay Bruce. At this stage, a deal doesn’t appear to be imminent, nor has the return for Bruce been revealed.
Still, it would be an interesting get for the Phillies, who could use the bench depth and, according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, have “had interest in Bruce for years dating back to Mets days.” Gelb adds that Bruce would also give the club another option in left field, which is currently staffed by a combination of Nick Williams and backup outfielders Scott Kingery and Sean Rodríguez.
It’s been several years since Bruce’s “Mets days,” and he doesn’t look exactly like the .250-average, 2.0-fWAR player of seasons past. That’s not to say he’s dealing with career-low numbers, however. Despite a deceptively-low .212/.283/.533 batting line, he’s put up 14 home runs (including no. 300) and a heartening 116 OPS+ across his first 148 plate appearances in 2019.
Should the deal go through, the Phillies are expected to shoulder the bulk of Bruce’s remaining $14 million salary in 2020.
Update, Sunday 10:19 AM EDT: Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia hears that the trade for Jay Bruce is ‘complete.’ Neither team has officially confirmed the deal, nor has the return for Bruce been publicized.