With outfielders Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall on the disabled list, the Indians landed needed reinforcement by acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets in return for minor league righthanded reliever Ryder Ryan on Wednesday night.
The Indians will reportedly pay the roughly $4 million remaining of Bruce’s salary this season, which helped ensure they did not have to pay a large price in prospects.
Jay Bruce, OF
Bruce has never lived up to the lofty expectations scouts put on him in the minors, but he has proven to be a very reliable lefthanded power bat. Bruce is one home run away from his fifth 30-home run season. Now that he’s largely past the knee injuries that sapped his power in 2014 and 2015, he’s on pace to set a career high in slugging percentage.
For the Indians, Bruce provides yet another lefty bat in a lineup full of them. He gives a power boost to a lineup that has been very productive but has few sluggers. Bruce is a free agent after this season.
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Ryder Ryan, RHP
Ryan was rather famous and well-scouted in high school, but scouts backed off during his senior season because they were pretty confident that he was headed to North Carolina. Because of that he slid to the 40th round in 2014. His two years at North Carolina did nothing to aid his draft stock as he made only one appearance in two seasons (failing to record an out) before leaving the team. The Indians liked his arm and picked him in the 30th round in 2016 anyway. After making some delivery tweaks, Ryan is touching 97 mph and sitting 94-95 out of the bullpen. He shows an ability to elevate and jam hitters with his heater. His slider is less developed and his control, while improved, has further refinement to come.
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