The Mariners will get a minor leaguer in the deal and Philadelphia will pay the bulk of Bruce’s contract, per Bob Nightengale.
Seattle received Bruce in the Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano trade with the New York Mets in the offseason. The Mariners started the season on fire, going to 13-2 on 11th April. Since then, they have gone 12-34, falling to fifth in the American League West.
According to Jon Heyman, the Mariners are in deep sell mode and are ‘trying to trade everyone’.
Philadelphia are the beneficiaries of the sale on the west coast, adding a powerful left-handed bat. The Phillies were one of the busiest teams this winter, including a big trade with Seattle, which saw them land Jean Segura. They are currently 33-25 and two games clear in the National League East.
The absence of Odubel Herrera, who was arrested for domestic violence on Monday, has left an outfield berth in Philadelphia. Andrew McCutchen had been playing left field, but the former MVP has shifted to his old centre field position.
Nick Williams has received at bats in left, with Bryce Harper remaining in right, but Bruce will likely get plenty of time in left field from now on. Bruce played a combination of left, right and first for Seattle, with a bit of DH mixed in.
Bruce hasn’t been great defensively, posting -2 outs above average in 229.1 outfield innings, but he remains playable if keeps hitting as he has done this season.
A 78th percentile hard hit rate and 82nd percentile expected slugging are the story for Bruce. His batting average, walk rate and OBP have all dropped, but a 114 wRC+ is more than solid and shows he’s bounced back from an ugly 2018 with the Mets.
Citizens Bank Park is a good place to be a left-handed power hitter. Harper is slugging .569 at CBP, compared to .419 on the road. Bruce, whose power is mainly to right and right-centre, should thrive like Harper has at CBP with just 330 feet to the right field foul pole and 369 feet to right-centre.
Having recovered from a poor 2018, Bruce is back to being a very effective hitter. His defence is just about good enough, and his track record suggests an OPS over .800 is sustainable through the season.
The Mariners have escaped the majority of Bruce’s hefty salary, while adding another piece to their quickly improving farm. The Phillies have bolstered their offence, upgrading one of the weak spots in their line-up.
It could change over time, of course, but this looks like a very good deal for both teams.