Multiple factors dictate feasibility and potential return haul for the Mets
As it has been reported in recent days, the Toronto Blue Jays are in talks with the New York Mets for the services of outfielder, Jay Bruce. This comes on the heels of Bruce hitting .219 with eight homers and 19 RBI after the switch of scenery.
To say Bruce’s production was disappointing for the most part would be an understatement. In a 50-game sample, Bruce saw his slugging percentage plummet by over 150 points from his first half in Cincinnati. Bruce also saw his strikeouts per at-bat increase and had an offensive WAR of -0.2.
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Still, it was a no-brainer that the Mets would pick up his option which now costs $13 million. What next? The Yoenis Cespedes situation needs to be worked out first, but the Mets still have a collection of left-handed corner outfielders on their roster. So even if Cespedes does leave, Bruce may still be on the move.
The first team to be linked to the Mets and Bruce is Toronto, which was pretty evident. The Blue Jays nearly struck a deal for Bruce as part of a three-team trade before last season, but it fell through. Of course, Toronto has bigger fish to fry as well (see Edwin Encarnacion).
What would a potential return look like for the Mets if it is indeed Toronto? I would venture to guess a couple of prospects. How much salary the Mets would pay up could drive the cost, but we’re still talking about a career sub-.250 hitter in a contract year. In other words, a bona fide rental so we won’t be talking about any star prospects in return.
However, that doesn’t mean any haul wouldn’t have some form of potential. Bruce at his best offers the Blue Jays a left-handed power hitting option in the outfield that they currently don’t possess. There are a few arms with promise to choose from in the Jays’ farm system. Plus, could a name like Max Pentecost (who is an injury risk) be in play somehow?