New York Mets fans probably can recall the Jay Bruce experience in Flushing, Queens, and how it panned out. In 2016, in desperate need of a big-time bat for a Mets team that began falling out of the playoff picture, the Mets acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds in hopes of bringing his big-time power over from Cincy to Flushing Queens.
Even though thanks to some late-season magic that helped the Mets clinch a playoff berth in 2016 before falling to the San Fransico Giants, Bruce was never a big factor in the Mets' playoff run, and when he was on the club in 2017 and 2018. Here's a look back at why it was not the best trade the New York Mets made.
Why did Jay Bruce never pan out with the Mets?
The Mets got Jay Bruce on August 1 from the Reds in exchange for infielder Dilson Herrera and prospect at the time Max Wotell. So, not a bad trade for the Mets as they were getting a hitter who at the time had 25 home runs on the season. But, when he got to NY, he was anything but productive in the last few months of the regular season. The outfielder only slugged 8 home runs and drove in just 19 RBI with a batting average of just .219. So it was not a good first season for Jay Bruce in 2016 as a member of the Mets.
For a chance of redemption, the Mets brought him back in 2017 and actually had a very good first half for the Mets. Bruce hit 29 home runs in the first half of the season and drove in 75 runs so it was quite the resurgence for Bruce. But at the time, the Mets were not having a great year and since they were out of the playoff race, Bruce was traded to Cleveland where he spent the final four months of the season with.
For a chance at another opportunity, in 2018 the Mets brought in Bruce this time in free agency on a three-year deal but it was a complete disaster. Bruce had a .224 batting average with only nine home runs while missing time with a hip injury costing him a stint on the IL for over two months. After the 2018 season, Bruce was later dealt in the infamous trade package with the Seattle Mariners that involved Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano.
This acquisition just never worked out for the Mets. There were many moves the Mets have made over the years that never seemed to work as they hoped and this one is a perfect example. Jay Bruce and the Mets were never a perfect match. Even though the Mets did not give up a lot for Bruce, if there was one recent Mets trade over the years that never seemed to fit, it was this one.