Phillies Reportedly Closest to Landing Jay Bruce During Offseason

The Phillies could have not only prevented all of Jay Bruce's damage this April, they also could have benefited from it.

According to a report from Newsday Wednesday night, the Phillies were the team closest to acquiring Bruce this past offseason from the Mets.

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"The Giants and Orioles expressed interest, but according to a source, the club that came closest to acquiring Bruce had been the Phillies," reports Marc Carig. "It would have made sense. Though squarely in rebuilding mode, the Phillies had the money to absorb a chunk of Bruce's $13 million in salary. He would have been a prime candidate to flip for prospects had his bat come to life."

Bruce is due $13 million this season, his last before reaching free agency. Instead of trading a prospect or two to New York, the Phils opted to sign Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a team option for a second. Saunders is guaranteed $9 million total.

It might be easy now to question the decision, but consider that Bruce has hit .223 since 2014 and was pretty much a non-factor in 50 games  after the Mets acquired him from the Reds at last year's trade deadline.

He's already come close to equaling that second-half production. Bruce has six homers already this season and four home runs and 11 RBIs vs. the Phillies.

Oh and there's this:

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