Can the New York Mets find a trade partner for Jay Bruce?
As the New York Mets continue to break down and stumble their way to the All-Star break, they need to look at offloading some assets and rebuilding their farm system for the future. The first to go? Jay Bruce.
While the Mets may very well be in their window of young cheap talent, they need to shift some players around to give these young studs more playing time.
We’ve already seen the aggressive moves the Mets have taken to give Dominic Smith more playing time and relieve the logjam in front of Peter Alonso by releasing Adrian Gonzalez. Why can’t the Mets make another move to give way to their young up-and-comers?
That’s why Jay Bruce has to go next.
Bruce hasn’t had the most success in a Mets uniform. The Bruce known for leading the league in RBIs has vanished from the MLB landscape. Why is that? Simple. He’s not playing for the Reds.
In Cincinnati, Bruce was batting behind Billy Hamilton, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, and the Greek God of On-Base Percentage, Joey Votto. Of course, his numbers were going to be a touch inflated at the Great American Ballpark, especially when you have guys like that in front of him.
Personel aside, Bruce is meant to be a five-hole hitter. He just not a cleanup guy. While his carousel swing will catch balls for home runs, long balls shouldn’t be his calling card. Bruce is a guy who should hit doubles and hard-hit balls that find the outfield grass. That’s his bread and butter. In the cleanup spot, he’s producing much less than he was in the past.
With Cespedes due to return to the lineup in the “near future”, the Mets are going to have a very crowded outfield. Brandon Nimmo, who was once thought to be the odd man out, has now made himself indispensable. Michael Conforto‘s bat is starting to show signs of life, going .318 with a 1.039 OPS in the last week. That leaves Jay Bruce to ride the pine.
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There’s a team that could use his help: The Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels have a problem in Kole Calhoun, their right fielder who can barely hit his weight. If the Angels want to play baseball in October, they’ll need a solid right fielder. The Mets just happen to have one.
Los Angeles is also in desperate need of a 5-hole hitter behind Trout and Pujols, thus their need for Bruce. As of late they’ve been using Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons and first baseman Jose Fernandez. Jay Bruce fits nicely into that role and will see at-bats with men on. Bruce is a perfect fit.
The Angels also have lots of prospects they could easily ship to New York. LA even has some MLB-ready relievers who could make an impact immediately in Queens. José Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, and Noe Ramirez would look great in the Orange and Blue and would alleviate the ailing Mets bullpen.
At the end of the day, Jay Bruce doesn’t fit in future of the current outfield. With Smith and Alonso coming up to take first base, his playing time is only going to diminish.
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This is a match made in heaven for both the Angels and the Mets.