Last year it was Yoenis Cespedes, this year it's Jay Bruce. The New York Mets have finalized a deal to acquire the Cincinnati Reds slugger in exchange for minor leaguers 2B Dilson Herrera and LHP Max Wotell . The deal is pending physicals and as Mets fans saw with the Carlos Gomez deal falling through, nothing is official until they're given the greenlight by team doctors.
Bruce, 29, is leading the NL with 80 RBIs, while hitting .265/.316/.559 (128 OPS+). Most importantly, Bruce is hitting .360/.406/.719 with runners in scoring position compared to a decimated Mets lineup that's hitting 206/.282/.324 in RBI situations. Bruce has spent his entire nine year MLB career in Cincinnati and will have a team option of $13 million to return to the Mets next season.
Herrera, 22, batted .276 (99-359) with 24 doubles, 13 home runs and 55 RBI in 86 games at Triple-A Las Vegas this season Last year, Herrera played in 31 contests for the Mets, hitting .211 (19-90) with three doubles, one triple, three home runs and six RBI.
Wotell, 20, was the Mets’ third-round selection in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. In six starts for the Kingsport Mets, Wotell is 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA (13 earned runs/29.2 innings) and 31 strikeouts.
Bruce brings a clutch power bat to the middle of the order, but his less than stellar defense could create issues for an outfield that features a less than sub-par arm in right field in Curtis Granderson, an inexperienced center fielder in Michael Conforto and a hobbled left fielder in Cespedes who is battle through a quad injury.
The deal could become official as early as Monday night, and the front office is hoping the Bruce trade can have a similar impact as the one for Cespedes last year when it spurred the team on to a World Series berth.