The Cleveland Indians could use another outfielder. And Jay Bruce is technically an outfielder, so I guess interest in him would make sense. But It would all come down to cost -- the cost to acquire Jay Bruce, the cost of his contract between this year and the next, and how much offense the Indians are willing to add on at the cost of outfield defense.
If Tribe front office has been sniffing around the 29-year-old outfielder, it would most likely be to fill the gap in left field with Michael Brantley out with no timetable for return or even to bump Lonnie Chisenhall out of his starting role in right.
Offensively, Bruce is having one of his better offensive seasons in a long time. He is slashing .285/.336/.594 with 16 home runs for the last-place Cincinnati Reds, while also striking out in just 20.3 percent of his at-bats, which would be a career-best over a full season. Even with the offensive surge, Bruce has barely been an above-replacement level player this season, with a 0.4 WAR, according to FanGraphs.
That can be directly attributed to some horrid defense. Bruce has spent 567 innings in right field this season where he has been worth -11 defensive runs saved, tied for the worst among outfielders in the majors. His UZR/150 does not paint a much better picture either at -28.4, second-worst among those same outfielders.
As Ken Rosenthal notes, Bruce also has the Indians on his no-trade since last November. So this is not some leftover clause from when he first signed his current deal with the Reds -- he just did not want to be traded to the Tribe in this most recent offseason.
If he has a change of heart, and if the Indians can strike a deal with the Reds, they will be on the hook for a $13 million option next season, or a $1 million buyout.
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EDIT: The post previously stated the Indians were interested in Bruce, however, it was mostly speculation from Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman, and others. The wording of the post has been updated to reflect that this is speculation that the Indians could be interested in Bruce as a potential target, but there is no evidence that they have actively tried to pursue him yet.