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Mets Rumors: OF Jay Bruce garnering little trade interest

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 9: Jay Bruce
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 9: Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce has put together a solid season for the Mets, but potential buyers around the league aren’t showing interest

Jay Bruce is having a fine season for the New York Mets. Through Monday, Bruce is threatening to break a career high in home runs and has put together one of his better defensive seasons. According to sources however, the stove isn’t more than warm around trade discussions.

After two months that couldn’t get much worse last year, Bruce has flipped the script with the Mets. His 25 homers are tied for fourth in the National League, only trailing Giancarlo Stanton, Cody Bellinger, and Joey Votto. Bruce’s walk rate has improved this season while his strikeout rate has stayed around the same. He also has four defensive runs saved in 85 games in right field this season. Contrast that with the -11 mark he posted last year.

Bruce is also hitting .264 after entering the season as a career .248 hitter in nine previous seasons. What makes that stat even more impressive was the lack of protection in the lineup at parts of the season due to injuries to Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, and Asdrubal Cabrera among others.

Since J.D. Martinez was moved to Arizona, the outfield market is considerably thin. Plus, the rentals rumored to be trade candidates mostly have less appeal than Bruce.

Bruce is owed around $5 million and the Mets have already expressed interest in paying some of the remaining salaries from expiring contracts. If Bruce is still a Met in August then he will have to pass through waivers before he gets traded and that isn’t a likely scenario. The Mets could also extend a qualifying offer after the season finishes.

In summation, you have to wonder if part of the lack of interest in Bruce is what happened last season? Bruce was among the league leaders in RBIs when he was traded to the Mets, but had a rough go of it in a new place. How much emphasis (if any) are potential trade candidates placing on that?

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Whatever the reason, Bruce isn’t generating much buzz as we’re in the final week of July. Unless things change drastically in the next few days then Bruce could very likely be a Met for at least the rest of this season.