Could the Minnesota Twins sign a former enemy bat?
Considered one of the most advanced high school bats in his draft class, Jay Bruce was selected 12th overall in 2005 by the Cincinnati Reds. Just 3 years later, he was getting 450 plate appearances with the big club, hitting 21 home runs.
Bruce had a tremendous 9 seasons with the Reds, hitting .249/.319/.470 with 233 home runs. He doesn’t draw a ton of walks, strikes out a good chunk of times, but he still has plenty of power.
In 2016, after 9 season in Cincinnati, Bruce was traded to the Mets in the midst of an All-Star season. He didn’t finish well for the Mets in the second half, hitting .250/.309/.506 between the two teams with 33 home runs.
Bruce opened this season with the Mets, hitting well this season for the Mets. He was moved to the Indians in midseason, hitting .248/.331/.477 with 36 home runs on the season, 7 of them with the Indians after he was moved there.
Bruce has seen the Twins a number of times in interleague, playing 14 games, hitting .236/.283/.436 with 2 home runs in 60 plate appearances, however, he’s hit much better at Target Field in 3 games (.333/.429/.750, 2 2B, 1 HR).
One of the concerns with Bruce is that he’s left-handed. However, with the emergence of Byron Buxton in 2017 and the presence of Brian Dozier, the Twins do have a balance of right-handed power, which is something that they have struggled with for a few years. In fact, having left-handed power could be an asset for the Twins.
Bruce would likely be a 1-2 year signing for the Twins if they went after him, and he’s likely to require $10-15M per season to do it.