CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury is reporting that the New York Mets are willing to move outfielder Jay Bruce for two prospects and that the Philadelphia Phillies have has a “long-standing” interest in the lefty slugger.
Bruce, 29, has spent his entire nine-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, other than the final 50 games of the 2016 season as part of a trade with the Mets that sent minor leaguers Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell to the Reds. A career .248 hitter, he solidified a sometimes shaky outfield and helped lead the Mets to a Wild Card berth.
It’s also true that, much like many teams with All-Star-caliber players, the Mets would prefer not to let him go. However, the outfield is already stacking up and, under its current construction, may create a steady rotation of players rather than the consistency of everyday play. Going into spring training, the outfield looks to be manned by Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Bruce. Unfortunately for Bruce, though. the Mets’ brass is very high on youngster Michael Conforto, and since the team is already fond of Granderson and Cespedes was just signed in this offseason, Bruce may be the odd man out. The only thing standing in the way of trade (besides the obviously need for a trade parter) is Bruce’s $13 million salary due this year. Not many teams are willing to take on that kind of salary, even if he is worth it. But a team trying to build with some youngsters like the Phillies will need to pay those younger guys sooner or later. On the opposite end, the Mets would love to rid their books of an extra $13 million.
But, for the moment, the Mets are happy with Bruce roaming the outfield — and certainly wouldn’t mind his 30+ yearly home runs at the pate either. Whether they keep Bruce or trade him, the decision makes sense either way.