Jay Bruce Reds trade take: It could have been worse

Getting a former top 50 prospect and a potential power (left-handed arm) for Jay Bruce looks pretty good for the Reds.

On paper, not a lot separates the Dilson Herrera from Brandon Nimmo, but the organization needs more help in the infield than the outfield, where a handful of players (Jose Peraza, Jesse Winker, Kyle Waldrop, Scott Schebler) are in line to snag the at-bats freed up by Bruce’s exit.

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I should have probably prefaced that by saying I’ve been underwhelmed by most of what the Cincinnati Reds have done so far in their rebuild.

While the return on Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon has exceeded expectations, they waited too long to unload Aroldis Chapman or Johnny Cueto and ultimately didn’t get back the kind of premium prospects they probably should have.

That’s not really even factoring in the struggles of the three players they got for Cueto, though those are tough to ignore at the moment.

The organization seemed to need at least one elite bat when Cueto was moved, and instead they got back three arms of varying potential. They have lots of pitching potential already in the minors and very little to get excited about as far as offense.

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Even though he’s having a great year, I never expected Bruce to bring back an elite player. He’s more likely to revert back to what is on the back of his baseball card than to continue with a career-high OPS beyond the year he turns 30. Other teams know this.

So they sold high on Bruce, as they did on Todd Frazier. That helps dull the sting a little if they missed opportunities with Cueto and Chapman.

Of course, the failure to move Zack Cozart means there is still a question of how they work anyone into the lineup in the middle infield the rest of the year, but that’s a problem for another day.

For now, it seems the Reds got solid value for a good-not-great trading chip. That’s more than I can say for the Cueto or Chapman trades and perhaps in line with the return on Frazier.

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