The Colorado Rockies need some help in the middle of their lineup. As the hot stove starts to gain a little momentum, word comes that they might be interested in left-handed slugging outfielder Jay Bruce to fill that need. And according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Rockies are one of Bruce’s “suitors for prized free agent outfielder Jay Bruce.”
I bet Bruce never thought he was be described as a “prized” anything. If I were him, I would feel pretty good about that.
The most logical fit for the Rockies to address their need for some offense seems to be the first base position, assuming they move Ian Desmond to the outfield for now. They would also have the option of keeping Desmond at first and looking for a slugger to step into the spot previously occupied by Carlos Gonzalez.
At first blush that seems like a less desirable course, especially given the depth the team appears to already have in the outfield. They arguably have four guys suited for the corners of the outfield in Desmond, Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, and Raimel Tapia. Then again, it’s possible that Dahl and Tapia aren’t ready or aren’t the answers, and between that and the flexibility Desmond offers, the Rockies aren’t totally crazy to look for an outfielder.
But are they crazy to look at Bruce? The 30-year-old is inconsistent but brings a ton of pop from the left side. He fits the mold of a big power hitter who strikes out too much, with some crooked platoon spits to boot. Coming off a season in which he hit 36 home runs and drove in 101 runs splitting his time between the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians, the market is probably going to be too high on Bruce.
That makes this a bit of a dicey thought for the Rockies one year after they created their own weird overpriced market for Desmond. Best case scenario, Bruce builds on his more consistent 2016 campaign and puts up gaudy numbers playing half his games at Coors Field. Worst case scenario, he bottoms out as he was prone to do in his Cincinnati Reds days and the occasional power is not worth the disastrous on-base numbers.
The most likely scenario is that he’s somewhere in between, and given the glut of hitters available who fit the lots of home runs/lots of strikeouts profile, it’s hard to envision that production being worth a deal in the neighborhood of three years and $39 million (which is what MLB Trade Rumors projects for Bruce). Given the team’s internal options in the outfield and the potential for a good fit at first base like Carlos Santana, consider this my vote that the Rockies pass on Bruce and this rumor proves to be nothing.
Let’s also talk about one other weird possibility: what if the Rockies are interested in Bruce as their answer at first base? That would be crazy, you say! He’s only played 14 career games at first base, you silly goose. You say that, and then you remember that’s 14 more career games at first than Ian Desmond had last winter. So that’s probably not it, but we can’t be sure as we consider how serious the Rockies are about the lefty.
What do you think about the thought of Jay Bruce on the Rockies?
Should the Rockies try to sign Jay Bruce?
This poll is closed
Yea buddy! Book that 50 home run season!
No thank you.