In addition to reporting on the Washington Nationals' interest in adding a late-inning reliever over the last couple of weeks/months, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal has consistently noted that the Nats could try to add another bat to the mix.
In a rumor-filled article early last month, FOXSports.com's bow-tied reporter Ken Rosenthal wrote that with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching (on August 1st this season instead of the traditional July 31st), the NL East-leading Nats,"... are expected to look for bullpen help and another bat before the deadline."
The bat, Rosenthal suggested then (early June), would, "... preferably a left-handed hitter, given that first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and left fielder Jayson Werth both are right-handed."
In his latest Full Count video, Rosenthal brought up the possibility of the Nationals pursuing a bat once again, this time with a name attached, and this time a left-handed hitter:
"The Nationals' biggest need is an impact reliever, think Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman, but they also could use another bat and one idea they've kicked around: Jay Bruce, who could play both outfield and first base.
"Ideally, the Nationals would want a right-handed hitter to complement Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, but Bruce obviously is quite familiar to Dusty Baker and he cannot block a trade to the Nationals.
"Another different kind of possibility would be for the Nats to promote Trea Turner to both lead off and play center field."
Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo discussed the thinking in having Turner spend time in center field after the recently-turned-23-year-old infielder played the outfield for the first time as a professional at Triple-A Syracuse.
Turner's played four games there so far.
"We feel that offensively he's major league ready," Rizzo explained.
"Defensively he's come a long way as a shortstop. Danny [Espinosa is] playing extremely well at shortstop up here.
"We've got a full roster of really qualified quality players at the big league level. But he's a guy that we would like to see here in the big leagues to help us at the big league level. If we could make him more versatile and more valuable to us and play multiple positions. I think that just adds to his value."
As for Bruce? Cincinnati's 29-year-old outfielder (who has seen some time at first as Rosenthal mentioned), has put up a .272/.319/.551 line with 19 doubles, six triples and 17 home runs in 76 games and 317 plate appearances so far this season.
Baker and Bruce overlapped in Cincinnati between 2008-2013 when the manager was relieved off his duties on the Reds' bench.
Bruce is in the final year of a 6-year/$51M extension he signed in 2010 which pays him $12.5M this season with a $13M club option for 2017 or a $1M buyout.
Bruce's deal with Cincinnati has a limited no-trade clause, which allows him to block trades to eight teams including Arizona, Boston, Cleveland, Miami, Minnesota, New York (AL), Oakland and Tampa Bay.