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Reds and Orioles discussing Jay Bruce

The Baltimore Orioles have talked about trading for Jay Bruce, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

What could go wrong with the Reds trading an outfielder to the Orioles?

That happened on Dec. 9 exactly 50 years ago. Nick Carrington on Frank Robinson.

Back to the present. The Orioles are looking for an outfielder. From their perspective, trading for Bruce (28) would offer a low-cost, low-years commitment compared to signing a free agent. From May 16-August 4, Bruce hit .306/.374/.567, with a walk rate of 9.7 percent and isolated power of .261. His runs created (wRC+) over that stretch was 151, which trailed only three players in the NL (Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto). That’s a near-MVP performance over half the season – not a couple weeks or a month – which could prove tempting to acquire. Bruce also offers solid defense and a strong arm. He may perform well enough that the Orioles could make him a qualifying offer at the end of 2017 and receive a compensation pick for losing Bruce to free agency.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that Bruce has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to eight clubs — the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Rays, Marlins, Twins, Indians and D-backs. That doesn’t mean Bruce will refuse to play for those clubs. It means he has added negotiating leverage before agreeing to move to any of them.

Reds add three pitchers to 40-man roster

In addition to signing free agent RHP Blake Wood (30) to a 1-year major league contract, on Friday the Reds moved three right-handed pitchers to their 40-man roster. The promotions of Sal Romano (22), Robert Stephenson (22) and Stephen Johnson (24) with Wood put the Reds 40-man roster at 38 players. The moves protected those players from the Rule 5 Draft.

Romano was chosen in the 23rd round of the 2011 amateur draft. Stephenson was a first-round pick for the Reds that same year. Johnson was the player the Reds acquired from the Giants for Marlon Byrd. He was a sixth-round pick for San Francisco in the 2012 draft.

Heisey-Baker reunion

The Washington Nationals signed OF Chris Heisey (30) to a minor league contract. It sets up a possible reunion with Dusty Baker, the Nationals’ new manager. The Reds drafted Heisey in 2006 and he played parts of five seasons (2010-14) for the major league club. Over 543 games, he hit .247/.299/.422.  Last year, Heisey played 33 games for the Dodgers.

Check out Grant Freking’s great two-part interview (one, two) with Heisey for Redleg Nation last September.