According to multiple reports the New York Mets have acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds for second baseman Dilson Herrera and left-handed pitcher Max Wotell.
While the fit may seem odd considering the Mets are crowded at the outfield corners, the Mets need as much offense as they can get right now. Bruce provides the Mets a solid power threat in their lineup and also provides Yoenis Cespedes with protection, something he hasn’t had all season. We have seen the kind of player Cespedes can be when he has protection behind him, and I look at this deal as a great pickup for the Mets as they didn’t give up too much to get him. Speaking of protection again, the trade also provides the Mets protection if Yoenis Cespedes needs to spend time on the disabled list with his quad injury that hasn’t improved, or if he decides to walk in the offseason. The Mets will hold a $13 million option on Bruce for next season.
The Mets are clearly gunning for the postseason with this trade as they sit 2.5 games back of the Wild Card and 6.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East. The Mets have the pitching to make a run at either postseason spot, but it was just a matter of them finding some offense to help them get there which was the problem last year entering the deadline. The 29-year old Bruce is having one of the best seasons of his career as he is hitting .265 with 25 home runs and an NL leading 80 RBI’s in 97 games played this season. Bruce also hits with men on base, something the Mets can’t do, as he is hitting .360 with runners in scoring position with 8 home runs and 52 RBI’s. He provides the Mets with that big power threat they have missed since Lucas Duda has been on the shelf.
Terry Collins will most likely play Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson in center field for the rest of the season, while having both Bruce and Cespedes taking over the corners. The Mets can afford to sacrifice defense for offense in this scenario as they clearly have been historically bad with the bats this season.
The Mets were able to keep both Amed Rosario and Conforto, who were two players that many teams are high on and have certainly asked for. It was certainly hard to swallow that the Mets traded Dilson Herrera as he was considered the second baseman of the future and slated to start for the Mets as early as next season. The other piece in the deal, Max Wotell is ranked as the Mets 16th prospect by MLB.com. The 19-year old lefty was pitching for the Rookie League Kingsport Mets, and was the Mets third round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.
The Mets also tried working out a deal for Jay Bruce last season in exchange for Zack Wheeler, but the Reds eventually wanted more and the Mets wound up with Cespedes. Interesting what a difference a year makes.