The Philadelphia Phillies are trying to win the NL East with power, and acquiring Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners would fit that bill.
The Phillies aren’t worried about taking on money if it means more power.
At least that’s the message the team is sending with its significant interest in Seattle Mariners outfielder/designated hitter Jay Bruce. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Philadelphia is close to making a deal with Seattle to acquire Bruce. In 47 games this season, Bruce is hitting .212 with 14 and 28 RBI.
It won’t take much for the Phillies to acquire Bruce. Seattle is in a complete rebuild, sitting at 25-35 and 12-33 in its last 45 games. The Mariners are on the hook for the remainder of his $14 million salary this year and another $14 million in 2020.
Bruce, 33, is a three-time All Star and a two-time Silver Slugger winner. For his career, Bruce has slammed 300 home runs while batting .245. If a trade does go through with the Phillies, he would presumably be placed in the heart of the order alongside Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen.
As for playing in the field, it’s hard to see Bruce doing anything but playing first base when Hoskins needs a day off or slotting into one of the corner outfield spots. Harper is all but entrenched in right field, but the horrid hitting of Odubel Herrera (.222/.288/.341) could see him become the fourth outfield, with McCutchen sliding from left to center.
Going into the weekend, Philadelphia has a three-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East at 33-24. The only team with a better record in the Senior Circuit is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have breezed through the first two months of the regular season at 39-19.