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Phillies rumors: Club had trade talks for Jay Bruce last spring

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies retroactive hot stove is heating up. 

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that this past Spring Training, the Phillies discussed outfielder Jay Bruce with the Cincinnati Reds, who he played for at that time:

They have had interest in Bruce before. Two sources said the Phillies engaged in trade talks last spring with the Cincinnati Reds, but the Reds opted not to trade Bruce until the July deadline. The Phillies, at the time, viewed Bruce as someone who could benefit from playing at Citizens Bank Park. Bruce, with a few months of decent production, could have been flipped for a prospect.

The guess here is that the Phillies discussed Bruce with the Reds after Aaron Altherr tore the sheath around his wrist tendon on March 8, an injury that initially seemed that it could cost him the entire 2016 season. Prior to that, the Phillies seemed interested in allowing both Altherr and Odubel Herrera to play every day, with Peter Bourjos very much in the fold. 

Gelb noted this in an article suggesting that the Phillies could engage Bruce's current team, the New York Mets, in trade talks for either him or Curtis Granderson, with the understanding that they could possibly trade either of them to a contender in the summer and continue to build organizational depth. 

Frankly, acquiring Bruce last spring would have made more sense than it potentially would now. The Phillies may make a trade at next week's MLB Winter Meetings that changes this, but they seem to have Howie Kendrick locked into the starting left field spot, with Herrera seemingly a lock in center. The Phillies also only got to see Altherr, who was still coming back from a wrist injury, for 57 games last year. Between him, Roman Quinn and eventually Nick Williams, there doesn't seem to be a need for another veteran outfielder, unless Kendrick ends up in the infield or Herrera is traded. 

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