Bruce, 29, is under contract through 2017
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Mets had a deal in place for Bruce that was centered around Brandon Nimmo, but that iteration of the deal was then held up by a medical issue on the Mets’ end.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson noted while announcing the Bruce acquisition that the tenor of the deal had changed, but didn’t elaborate on exactly what the issue was.
Bruce, 29, is hitting .265/.316/.559 with 25 HR and 80 RBI.
He’s a career .249/.319/.470 hitter, though his triple slash away from Great American Ballpark is just .244/.310/.439.
Herrera, 22, was hitting .276/.327/.462 with 13 HR and 55 RBI this season for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Wotell, 19, posted a 3.94 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 31 batters in 29 2/3 innings for Rookie level Kingsport this season.
Much like last season’s trade deadline, a deal for Bruce nearly fell apart at the last second. But Alderson did what he had to do to ensure history didn’t repeat itself.
It hurts to lose Herrera in this deal, but he did take a bit of a step back this season in Triple-A. Still, he’s just 22 years old and really should have a bright future ahead of him.
While many will say Herrera was the Mets’ second baseman of the future — and the reason they let Daniel Murphy sign elsewhere — neither of those things is really accurate.
Yes, the Mets had high hopes for Herrera, but they also have Wilmer Flores and Gavin Cecchini as options at second base going forward. Additionally, if Amed Rosario is ready at some point next season, they could also shift Asdrubal Cabrera to second base. And Jose Reyes should be with the Mets as well.
As far as Bruce is concerned, he’s a square peg in a round hole at the moment, much like Yoenis Cespedes was when he was acquired last year. And unlike Cespedes, Bruce is a liability in the corner outfield.
A bigger issue right now is having Curtis Granderson in center field. However, Alderson noted on Monday that Cespedes could move back to center field once his quad injury allows.
Until then, the Mets will likely operate with Cespedes in left field, Curtis Granderson in center field, and Bruce in right field. Less than ideal, but the offensive aspect obviously trumped all.
This deal also gives the Mets insurance in the outfield if Cespedes opts out and leaves via free agency, with Bruce under contract for $13 million in 2017.
Welcome to Queens, Jay!