Jay Bruce
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Report: Mariners, Phillies discussing trade for Jay Bruce

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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.

Police are keeping reporters away from owners at the owners meetings

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The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.

Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.

Here’s how it went:

This was confirmed by other reporters:

To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.

But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.

We live in interesting times.