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Jay Bruce wants to sign an extension with the Reds that runs forever, basically

Nov 15, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Jay Bruce Getty Images

Jay Bruce is 25 years old and already under the Reds’ control through 2017 as part of a $51 million deal inked in December of 2010, but Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the outfielder wants to add six more years to his contract.

Here’s what Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Sheldon:

[Bruce] made it clear that he wants to be a Red his entire career. [Joey] Votto is in his wedding in a couple of weeks and he wants to play with him. He has a lot of friends there. He and his fiancee are very comfortable in Cincinnati. Jay asked me to approach the team and see if something is there. We’ll see if the team has any interest.

General manager Walt Jocketty told Sheldon that it hasn’t been discussed yet.

From the Reds’ point of view committing significantly more money so far into the future to a very good but not elite player they already have signed through age 30 would probably qualify as an unnecessary risk. Unless of course Bruce is willing to give them a major discount to sync his deal up to Votto’s, which runs through 2023 at a total cost of $225 million.

Bruce hit .252 with 34 homers in 155 games this year, posting an .841 OPS that ranked 12th among the 37 corner outfielders to qualify for the batting title. Combined during the past three seasons Bruce hit .262 with an .833 OPS in 460 games.

  1. mississippimusicman - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Maybe they could work out a series of options, kind of like the Wakefield deal? Just an idea.

  2. xmatt0926x - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    It must be nice to be 25 and have the world by the short ones, but he may be a little naive to really think he and Votto and the rest of the boys will spend the rest of their careers in one place. There’s just about zero chance of one of them doing it, much less both. At some point the Reds will need to retool and the first thought will be to possibly unload the big Votto contract. It’s just the way it is.

    • jm91rs - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Unless they were unloading him soon, I don’t see anyway they lose Votto. If his play is up to the standards he set in the past few years then he’ll be a cornerstone of the team. If his play is not up to the standards that contract is far too long and pricey for anyone else to eat it.

      • paperlions - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        The point is that in 6 years you don’t know what the world will look like. At that point, Votto’s contract won’t be long and may not look pricey. The Reds may have a better 1B option or they may be rebuilding….you just never know….in baseball, 11 years is a LONG time.

  3. thatyankeedude - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I get the dedication to the squad but 2017 isnt exactly around the corner so it’s probably best to wait it out.

  4. Aaron - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    With almost no pressure to win in Cincinnati, it must be a relaxing place to play. I don’t blame him.

    • jm91rs - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      I’ve never played professional baseball before, but I’d think winning 2 out of the last 3 division titles puts pressure on the guys to go farther next year. They were one inning away from knocking the eventual champs out of the post season, if they don’t feel pressure to do better next year management should consider some trades.

      • Aaron - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        After 2010, there was no pressure in 2011 to go further. Nobody put heat on the club after the collapse in this year’s NLDS. It’s not a player issue — it’s a management/media issue. Go read John Fay and Mark Sheldon. Division titles are more than enough to satisfy this team.

      • jm91rs - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Possibly a management issue from Dusty’s perspective, but I can guarantee you that it is not ok by Castellini to remain average. Dude just sunk a large amount of money into 2 players on a small market team. You better believe he knows the correlation between winning games and selling tickets. With the lousy (by league standards) TV deal the Reds have, he needs to win games to make money.

        I’d argue that their actions last off season showed their urgency and pressure to win now. A lot of teams could be lousy and still sell out, but in that city more than most, winning fills seats.

      • Aaron - Nov 15, 2012 at 7:00 PM

        Castellini has certainly talked a big game. And, yes, he has spent money. Credit is due there. I think you could make an argument that that money was misspent, but that’s a different argument. At the same time, though, he’s apparently a big Dusty supporter…and if winning a championship is really your goal, then well…look at his history. Like I said, division championships seem to be enough.

        The fact of the matter is that he hasn’t brought home a winner so far and with the Cardinals’ superior farm system and front office, I fail to see how that will change. The Reds have been and are comfortable being a second-tier franchise. The recent history is indisputable in that regard.

  5. jm91rs - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    This guy has the single ability to carry a team on his back. He also has the ability to have the worst month long stretch imaginable. It always averages out to a decent year, but he can’t always be counted on. You just never know what you’ll get from him, give the Reds a consistent year of production then ask for another extension.

  6. johnnyb1976 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Aaron…. Your a tool.

    • Jeremy T - Nov 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      I’m assuming this is directed towards the commenter above, not the author of this fine article

  7. stex52 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Talk to them in 2016, Jay. Or get that OPS up over 1.00. Otherwise, there is no way they are going to make a commitment that far down the road. No need to.

  8. kalinedrive - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The guy is under contract for five more years and he already wants to renegotiate? This is why punching in the face was invented. Shut up and play, you idiot.

    • theman1932 - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      He doesn’t want to “renegotiate,” he wants an extension. This is a sign of loyalty. The team should do it. Everyone expects him to get better. He finished 10th (which is 5 spots too low) in MVP voting. Lock the guy up while he’s cheap.

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