According to Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports) the Reds have engaged in preliminary discussions on deals that involve trading outfielder Jay Bruce. The Padres are among the teams who have talked to the Reds about Bruce. Trading Bruce would be part of a plan to take a major step backward and restructure.

The report indicates that Reds are not yet committed to that plan. So far, the Reds are simply talking, not shopping Bruce.

The question is whether the organization can afford to compete again with the current roster plus additions in LF and the bullpen. My sense is they can afford their returning players but not much more. To acquire more hitting, which is what they need the most, they may need to move a starting pitcher contract.

Obviously, it’s impossible to judge any trade involving Bruce without seeing details. But his salary $12 million (2015), $12.5 million (2016) and a club option of $13 million (2017) is low relative to the value he’s provided. From 2010-2013, he provided more than $16 million/year based on an average of fWAR and bWAR. He won the Silver Slugger award in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Bruce injured his knee, had surgery and played at less than full strength.

You’d hate to see the Reds trade low on Bruce.

I also hope they make their overall intentions for 2015 clear before I have to buy my season tickets or make plans to go to spring training.