Chicago Cubs: Should the team kick the tires on free agent Jay Bruce?
Jay Bruce is a guy who doesn’t seem to be on the Chicago Cubs’ radar this offseason. My question: why isn’t he being talked about?
Free agent outfielder Jay Bruce is coming off a 2017 campaign where his slash line was .254/.324/.508 to go along with 36 homers. The 30-year-old was also a big part of the Cleveland Indians’ incredible second half.
The big thing with Bruce throughout this whole career is that he hits the ball out of the ballpark, but he also has a high strikeout rate. But unless you were living under a rock last year, you could tell that home runs were up astronomically across the league.
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Even with the low on-base percentage and batting average, he makes up it up with his slugging. His OPS + last year was 115, which is about the average for him given his power hitting past.
Cubs could improve drastically in left
Is Bruce a dominant outfielder? No. But do you remember who the Cubs’ current left fielder is?
Don’t underestimate the fact that players don’t like being on the trading block. Jay Bruce has been a staple on the trading block for about the last five years. If that’s not enough, imagine being apart of two trade packages in the past two seasons.
Bruce is probably looking for some security this offseason. With that in mind, I don’t think he’d like to move another time and also that he’s getting up there in age (for a baseball player). If I’m just speculating, he’s probably looking for about a four-year, $80 million deal.
Now if the Cubs ink Bruce to a deal, there could be some potential problems. One being that he has been a right fielder for the majority of his career, along with little experience in both center and left.
Trade Schwarber for pitching
Heyward isn’t going anywhere for a long time. Almora should get more playing time this season. That just leaves Kyle Schwarber in left.
Now if you’ve read pretty much any of my past articles you’d know that I’m a huge fan of the idea of trading Schwarber. If Schwarber was a piece in a deal for a guy like Chris Archer, that would be fantastic.
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It would also open up a spot for a guy like Jay Bruce. Now I’m not saying that the Cubs should go crazy and drop $100 million for five years, but would a three or four-year deal hurt anyone?
The Cubs need to capitalize on their championship window and make some splashes. I’m not saying the Cubs need to sign Bruce in order to win another World Series, it’s just something to chew on this offseason.