The trade deadline came and went while NY Mets right fielder Jay Bruce was fly fishing during an off day in Colorado. There were no bites for the veteran lefty slugger. The team reportedly tried to move Bruce last winter as well, but found no deal to their liking. Bruce is available in a trade because All-Star Michael Conforto is probably better suited to play a corner spot rather than center field. Although he’s done an admirable job there this season.
After struggling mightily when he was first traded to the Mets from the Reds late last season, Bruce has performed at or above his career levels this season. He has turned the naysayers to cheerleaders, clamoring for the Mets to resign him this winter. Not only is he not intimidated by the New York media attention, he assumed many of the clubhouse leadership responsibilities that used to be handled by David Wright. He’s been the consummate professional.
Thru August 3rd Bruce is 3rd in the National League with 29 home runs. He’s 6th in the league in AB per HR with a 13.9. Like the rest of his career, Bruce is doing better against right-handed pitchers. This year, 21 of his 29 homers have come against righties. He’s not just hitting home runs either. Bruce is 9th in the NL in extra base hits with 49 and 7th in the league with 75 RBIs.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 3, 2017
Usually defensively below average, the 30-year-old Bruce is having a decent year in right field. He ranks 3rd in the NL in Range Factor/9Inn with a 2.20. He’s also 3rd in the league in Total Zone Runs with an 8. Bruce also has a 6 DRS and 2.6 UZR. Finally, if you believe in using fielding percentage, he ranks 4th with a .990.
The Mets will most likely place Bruce on waivers along with Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson. If a team claims him, the Mets will try to reach a deal. However Bruce reportedly has the right to refuse a trade to Arizona, Miami, Phillies, Yankees, Minnesota, Oakland, Tampa and Toronto. Since Bruce is making $13 million this season, the claiming team would be responsible for the remaining part of his salary.
If Bruce finishes the season on the team, the Mets might make a qualifying offer to him. Qualifying offers will reportedly be in the $18 million range this winter. But this will be his first chance at being a free agent and he has indicated that he wants to explore his options. So, if he declines the QO, the new default rule calls for the compensatory draft pick to be after the completion of Round B. Although there are exemptions to the new rule that you can read about at MLBTradeRumors.
You can read about the deals that were made in the Mets trade deadline review.
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