Indians

Report: Indians acquire Jay Bruce

The Cleveland Indians offense has been in a tailspin for the past few games, struggling to score at home against an average Rockies pitching staff. In this context, the Indians have traded for Jay Bruce from the New York Mets.

The Indians outfield, especially those swinging bats from the left side of the plate have either struggled or been mangled of late. Lonnie Chisenhall has been injured for nearly a month with no time set for rehabilitation. Further, Michael Brantley’s ankle sprain in Tuesday night’s game further weakened the Indians lineup against right-handed pitching. With Brantley and Chisenhall ailing, as well as Bradley Zimmer coping with the adjustments of opposing pitchers, Cleveland needs help from the left side of the plate, Bruce provides just that.

In his career, he has a OPS of .821 against right-handed pitching and a wRC+ of 116, demonstrating that he is significantly above average in a platoon role. Bruce comes with weaknesses, he simply is not a good defender, but having Zimmer in center field, and the shallow wall in left field in Cleveland makes it far easier to hide the defensively challenged. He has been a quiet addition to the fly ball revolution radically increasing the number of fly balls he hits, which has been the anchor of the return of upper-end power production. In the friendly confines of Progressive Field, with a favorable wind current and right field layout, Bruce is an optimal fit and potentially exactly what this Indians team needs as a complementary bat for the stretch run.  He will look to add to his 29 home runs and 75 RBIs this season in Cleveland.

The cost in this trade was more financial that asset.

The Dolans, following an offseason in which they signed Edwin Encarnacion to a large deal, extended Jose Ramirez, and ran a massive budget once again showed a willingness to eat significant financial cost in order to limit the prospect cost required to trade for Bruce. This is a win now trade which should be lauded for its lack of impact on the organization’s depth.

The asset who was traded was Ryder Ryan. Ryan was a 30th round pick in 2016, a college selection with limited upside. He was an All-Star in Lake County this season but is the average age for the level and has shown significant command issues. Ryan was likely outside the top 50 prospects in the Indians organization and projects as organization depth. The acquisition cost was largely the Dolans’ willingness to make another substantial financial commitment in the team. For the Indians this is another play that adds more offensive impact to a loaded roster.

  • Natedawg86

    29 HRs Mike… good for oh, 10th in baseball this season. With the lack of offense at times, even a 1 run homer could be what we need.

  • Natedawg86

    Yankees wanted him but didn’t want to pay all of the $5 owed to him…wait did I read that right? Wow…..didn’t think I would see that happen anytime soon

  • Cathyjwheeler

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  • jpftribe

    Good move. Now go get Valbuena and we’ll be set.

  • Chris
  • Chris

    What’s Michael Martinez up to these days?

  • Chris

    Luis? The guy with -1 WAR this year? Bring up Michael Martinez while you’re at it.

  • Greg Popelka

    Love the deal. Dont want them looking at Bruce on a long term deal though. When he’s going bad and swinging and missing by 2 feet with guys on base, it’s fans-turning-against-him bad. Mark Reynolds-ian.

  • jpftribe

    I suddenly regret this comment. I don’t know whose numbers I was looking at when he was here for the Angels series, but it’s not the one’s on FG today.

    NM.

  • nj0

    Sounds like you experienced the Mandela Effect in the past few weeks, shifting from a reality where Luis Valbuena was having a decent season to one where he is not. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.

  • mgbode

    We are living in a world where Bruce and Reynolds are both hitting the ball with regularity and having good seasons at the same time. I’m not quite sure I am comfortable with it.

  • CBiscuit

    I actually miss that man. Looking at him with today’s lens, he’s like Winston Churchill.

  • tsm

    Anchorman!

  • Steve

    Escobar? He’s been hitting LHP well. I would take him as our backup IF the rest of the way, and start him over Kipnis vs lefties.

  • Steve

    It’s going to take me some time to adjust to this team wanting to put a low OBP in the lineup.