CINCINNATI -- Unlike teammate Joey Votto, who is non-committal about his desire to remain in Cincinnati long term, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been more than open. Bruce wants to stay under a multi-year deal and believed it could get done. "I have a lot of optimism," Bruce said. "This is the place I want to be. We're in a great position as far as the team, and the front office is doing all the things necessary in order for us to continue to win. That's what I want to be a part of. I'd love to be here. There's nothing imminent. I'm optimistic, and they are, too. I feel like we're both pretty realistic with what we expect and what we want. I'm sure it will get done eventually." The 23-year-old Bruce established numerous offensive career highs in 2010 while batting .281 with 25 home runs, 70 RBIs and a .353 on-base percentage. Defensively, his arm netted seven assists. He also certainly enjoyed getting the phone call from his agent earlier in the offseason that told him he reached "Super 2" status. It meant he had just enough service time to qualify for arbitration ahead of the usual three seasons.
That will mean a significant pay increase from the $440,000 he earned this past season. Bruce was one of the main draws at Redsfest on Friday and Saturday. There were reminders of Bruce's home run that clinched the National League Central title for the Reds in September. One included a large photo of his teammates waiting for him to touch home plate. It was signed by most of the team. "A lot of fans say, 'Hey, man, awesome home run.' They comment on it, sure," Bruce said. "Hopefully there are better pictures to come. I hope it becomes a normality."