Rumblings of a big 3-team extravaganza brewing with the Dodgers, Reds & a mystery team. Jay Bruce would land in LA when the dust settles
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 29, 2016
If the talks that @jaysonst reported reach the finish line and Jay Bruce lands with LAD, could signal end of Puig's time as Dodger mainstay.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 29, 2016
Jayson Stark's take: The Dodgers and Reds have had trouble matching up directly in their talks about Jay Bruce. So they've gotten creative and are seeking a third team to help put the pieces together. The Dodgers also have been pursuing pitching and the Reds have been reluctant to trade their best young arms, such as Raisel Iglesias and Anthony DeSclafani. So a third team could help fit those pieces together as well.
The Dodgers have been mostly chasing right-handed bats, but Bruce is the best controllable hitter on this market and has handled left-handers better than he has in past years. He was slugging .515, with an .815 OPS, against them going into Friday night, although with just four walks in 111 plate appearances. Nevertheless, his addition would make the Dodgers' lineup extremely left-handed. The Reds have been hunting for young position players they can build around. So a third team theoretically can help them fill that need, too.
What is unclear is what this trade would mean for Yasiel Puig, whose star has faded so much since his splashy debut in L.A. that the Dodgers have basically tried to attach him to more attractive pieces in trades this month in an attempt to ship him elsewhere. Puig's .376 slugging percentage ranks 187th in baseball this season among players with at least 225 plate appearances. And his .693 OPS ranks 183rd. As recently as 2014, he finished sixth in the National League in OPS, at .863. Sources say the Dodgers have had a difficult time finding a taker for him even though he is still only 25 and is under control through 2018, for just $17.4 million.