Reports have Mets acquiring Jay Bruce from Reds

Jay BruceFor the second straight year, the Mets have acquired an impact bat at the trading deadline, this time picking up OF Jay Bruce from the Reds in exchange for Brandon Nimmo and two other prospect. The deal is pending physicals. The Mets were rumored to be interested in Bruce this time last year, when the cost would have been Zack Wheeler, but instead traded for Yoenis Cespedes, who helped lead the club on a huge offensive surge which wound up in a World Series appearance.

With Cespedes not an option for center field and Juan Lagares on the disabled list, this means the Mets will run either Michael Conforto or Curtis Granderson in the middle of the outfield. Neither option is very compelling. But the opportunity to pick up a bat like Bruce’s was simply too much to let defensive worries get in the way.

After a poor 2014, Bruce has rebounded in a major way. Last year he posted 26 HR and 87 RBIs and through 97 games this year, he’s leading the NL with 80 RBIs and he has an .875 OPS. Bruce makes the lineup that much more lefty-heavy, but he’s done well against southpaws this year, posting a .778 OPS against LHP.

Perhaps the most welcome news for Mets fans is how Bruce has performed this year with runners on base. When he comes to bat with RISP, Bruce has a .360/.406/.719 line in 101 PA. Of the eight Mets with the most PA with RISP, only Cespedes and Neil Walker have a higher OPS than Bruce does a SLG mark in this split.

The Mets will owe Bruce roughly $5 million for the remainder of this year and they hold a $13 million option for 2017, which has a $1 million buyout. If Cespedes opts out of his contract, the Mets can pick up the option on Bruce, although that leaves the same CF dilemma mentioned earlier.

One thing about defense, though. The Mets’ starting pitchers get more grounders than fly outs. Here are the GB% for each:

Bartolo Colon – 44.4
Logan Verrett – 44.8
Jacob deGrom – 46.4
Steven Matz – 50.3
Noah Syndergaard – 50.8

It’s a different story for the relievers, though. Four of the seven relievers throw more flies than grounders. The worst is Erik Goeddel, who has a 29.6 GB%, compared to a 46.3 FB%

Click here to see last year’s article on potentially acquiring Bruce.

30 comments for “Reports have Mets acquiring Jay Bruce from Reds

  1. Metsense
    August 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    The defense in CF is troublesome but adding a bat like Bruce is awesome. The Mets record when they score 4 runs is great. They just took a big step in getting to that magic 4. Nice job Sandy!

  2. Chris F
    August 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Care needs to be exercised here. The deal is not yet consummated. Nimmo, the centerpiece, had a torn tendon in his foot, and so this is still pending medicals. Passan reporting the medicals situation make this “far” from done.

    • MattyMets
      August 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      I saw that as well, but can it really be serious if he’s been playing?

      This not only messes with the outfield rotation and defense but it also makes our lineup lopsided, especially when/if Duda comes back.

      Now if Sandy can pull a rabbit out of his hat and somehow land Bruce and Lucroy, we’d have a lineup to contend with.

      • Chris F
        August 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        The medicals issue is not Nimmo. Apparently one of the others in the deal. Looking for another player.

  3. David Groveman
    August 1, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Bruce has an affordable option for 2017 which takes away a “Need” to renegotiate Cespedes.

  4. Eraff
    August 1, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    an excellent and tradeable commodity for an unestablished prospect—cant argue with the Value, but it’s not a straight forward answer to 2016 needs…… i don;t have a problem with that.

  5. Jimmy P
    August 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    The Jay Bruce of 2014 and 2015, while hitting in a band box, hit .217/.281/.373 and .226/.294/.434 respectively. Strikes out a ton, though his home/away splits are not bad.

    He seems a lot like Granderson, honestly.

    It’s an interesting move. Curious to see if there will be others to follow, if this one gets confirmed.

    The Mets offense is bad right now, but I didn’t think the remake would involve replicating the same formula of a slow, all-or-nothing power bat. Also, of course, curious to see who else is thrown into this deal. Looking at Mets starters, it’s hard to belief they have a stretch run/playoff push in them.

    We will see.

  6. MattyMets
    August 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Juan Uribe just got DFA’d

  7. MattyMets
    August 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    now it’s looking like Nimmo and Dilson for Bruce. If that’s true, I am not a fan of this deal.

    • Jimmy P
      August 1, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      I concur.

  8. Peter Hyatt
    August 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Nimmo still here?

  9. August 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    MLBTR has it as Herrera and Max Wotell

    • David Groveman
      August 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Wotell hadn’t done anything too special and Herrera seemed stalled in AAA.

    • Chris F
      August 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      yes, confirmed repeatedly as Herrera and Wotell

      Obviously, the Mets did not believe Herrera was the future at SS. Trade pieces fine with me.

      • Chris F
        August 1, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        Well, Bastardo gone 🙂 Niese back 🙁

  10. MattyMets
    August 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    so we have 5 left-handed hitting corner outfielders?

  11. August 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Niese is back -_-.

    But Bastardo is gone! 🙂

  12. Steve S.
    August 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    We just got Niese again?!

  13. August 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Sandy said we were going to get a RP – who thought it would be Niese? Wonder how he’ll be treated in the clubhouse?

    At least we get out of Year 2 of Bastardo. And we can decline the option on Niese for next year.

    • Jimmy P
      August 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      A great deal, if only shedding Bastardo for next year. Bucs must have hated Niese.

      Honestly, I speculated on this exact swap two weeks ago with some friends in a group text. It was crazy to consider, but also made sense. Kind of.

      • Chris F
        August 1, 2016 at 5:40 pm

        That is exactly the calculus is my guess. I think we send some $ back with Bastardo. Neal Huntington had an open interview published where he said Niese was a huge mistake.

        Huntington admitted that he’s having second thoughts about trading Neil Walker for Jon Niese last off season, saying that he probably would have been better off acquiring a couple unremarkable prospects instead of Niese. “We felt that that was our best return, and it has not played out that way, and that’s a challenge. We own that. We accept that. In hindsight, maybe the two fringe prospects and trying to figure out where to reallocate the money (that Niese is getting) might have been a better return.” (CBS Pitt)

        The good news is Bastardo is gone and Niese has a club option next year with a 500k buyout. It will be tough to stomach him even for 2 months, but to be out of Bastardo next yr is a plus and done with Niese too is a plus.

  14. August 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I am certain that if Nimmo went, he would bat .280, 20 homers and 40 doubles per year.

    Now that he is with us, I am certain he will go .220 3 homers and 11 doubles per year.

    It’s just the way that I am.

    • MattyMets
      August 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Peter, don’t take it personally. That’s the way all of us feel. There is a sad solidarity among Mets fans. You are part of an exclusive family of fanatical pessimistic realists.

  15. MattyMets
    August 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    we just got Niese back for Bastardo!

  16. Eraff
    August 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Ok… this suggests some carry forward value on Bruce, and maybe Niese. This is not a 2016 only deal. The Mets now have approximately 4 dozen LH Hitters

  17. MattyMets
    August 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Rangers got Lucroy and Jeffress and didn’t have to give up Gallo. Wow.

  18. August 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I’d like to know what the original deal was and who the guy who was hurt that made it need to be re-worked. P.J. Conlon maybe? Think he left his last start after four innings.

    I’m sorry to see The Dilson go. I’m thinking Nimmo +2 would have been preferable to me than Dilson + Wotell, who I also like.

    • August 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Can’t confirm anything but have seen rumors that it was Flexen. In fact, rumors seem to suggest that the original deal was like your preference: Nimmo+Flexen+Wotell. With Flexen medical, a player (Herrera) that the Reds valued more highly than Nimmo was included to make it 2 instead of the 3.

      Sorry to see Wotell go, too.

    • Jimmy P
      August 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Wotell was an interesting arm. Lefty, throws hard, drafted out of HS in 3rd round. An astute grab by the Reds.

  19. Larry Smith
    August 1, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    In terms of talent in and gone I think the Bruce deal is a smart move. It gives Mets some fallback if Cespedes opts out at season’s end. I also love the fact that finally the team will have a guy who can play RF and reach 3B with a throw.
    But the scary part is that a team that needed a RH’d hitter and one who could play CF went for a LH’d hitter who can only play RF.

    As for Niese/Bastardo. That’s GIGO. Niese has always been quite effective vs lefties so he might be adequate in the pen. Bastardo sure wasn’t.

    Was Reynolds the right move to cover SS? I don’t think so. Even with a shaky defensive reputation Cecchini might have been the better recall.

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