The Trade That Wasn’t: Jay Bruce and Michael Saunders

Michael Saunders
Michael Saunders

The birds tweeting on Twitter about the Blue Jays were saying that Jay Bruce was about to become a Blue Jay. Trusted reporter Jon Heyman was getting the fans in a tizzy, reporting that Cincinnati was going to send Jay Bruce to Toronto with Michael Saunders going to the LA Angels in a three-way trade. Before the night was over, however, Buster Olney had squashed the rumours with Ken Rosenthal providing a bit more depth this morning.

 

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Heyman’s tweet started a flurry of questions about Jay Bruce. What kind of player was he? Was he better than Saunders? I got this tweet from @NathanHam87 in response to my question:

 


My immediate response, particularly after looking at Bruce’s line for the past few years, was that he was very much like Colby Rasmus. After pointing this out to Mr. Ham (cited above), he responded with this:

 

 

 

But then . . . around 10:45pm, Buster Olney tweeted “There is doubt among those involved in the Jay Bruce talks that the deal will be completed.” Blue Jays fans were actually relieved at this point with word coming out this morning from Ken Rosenthal that medical concerns over a Blue Jays’ minor leaguer are what killed the deal, not concerns over Michael Saunders’s knee.

 

So, we’re back to where we started. Michael Saunders is a Blue Jay and Jay Bruce isn’t. I don’t know about you, but for me having Bruce at more than three times Saunders’ salary for a player who has a .222/.288/.406 slash line in the last two years with 44 home runs and 294 strikeouts in 1194 plate appearances isn’t an upgrade. Yes, Saunders is a big ol’ question mark but if we look at his last two full seasons (2013-2014), he’s got a .250/.330/.416 line in 731 plate appearances with 20 home runs and 177 strikeouts. Additionally, Bruce is mostly a right fielder who would have been slid over to left to take over from Saunders and/or Dalton Pompey.

 

What do you think? Bruce or Saunders/Pompey?

 

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