Jay Bruce and Matt Harvey are remembered differently by New York Mets fans.
Bruce came to the team as a trade deadline acquisition in 2016 and departed a year later in another July 31 trade. He returned the very next offseason and was traded after one season in the infamous Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal.
Harvey is remembered far more fondly but much more controversially. The first great Mets pitcher of the decade, his early run was fantastic. Although torn apart by the media at times, I think true fans still have some fondness for the club’s ex-ace.
The pair of former Mets have settled on minor league deals
What do they have to do with each other? Bruce and Harvey have new minor league deals. Bruce will suit up for the New York Yankees this spring while Harvey will go to the Baltimore Orioles.
Bruce seems like a quietly perfect fit for the Yankees. As a potential backup outfielder/DH type, his left-handed stick should do well at Yankee Stadium.
The complete opposite could be said about Harvey. His struggles in recent years to even get any big league innings in will not translate well as a pitcher with the Orioles. Camden Yards is notorious for favoring hitters. The rest of the AL East ballparks are no treat either.
What they did since leaving the Mets
Catching up with Bruce, we find a one-dimensional slugger who can still hit home runs. In 2019, he split his time with the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies. In 333 plate appearances, Bruce clobbered 26 home runs and drove in 59.
Before you feel any remorse, he did it with a .216/.261/.523 batting line.
Last year, Bruce went up to the plate 103 times. He hit 6 home runs with a batting line of .198/.252/.469. Limited defensively, he could do well in a part-time role with the Yankees. Secretly, we’ll all be hoping he doesn’t.
Harvey’s post-Mets career has been more painful. He wrapped up the 2018 season with 24 average starts with the Cincinnati Reds that included a 7-7 record and 4.50 ERA. The two years since have been far worse.
The Dark Knight was 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019. Last year, in 11.2 innings as a starter and reliever with the Kansas City Royals, Harvey was 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
It’s no real wonder as to why both former Mets ended up with minor league contracts. Players like Bruce who do one thing well (hit home runs) aren’t a commodity. In Harvey’s case, it’s all about poor performance. The good news for him is that it’s very possible he ends up winning a rotation spot on a ball club in desperate need of major league talent.