After no luck trying to trade the former Cincinnati Red, the New York Mets have accepted that Jay Bruce will be starting in right in 2017.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson picked up Bruce’s $13 million team option for 2017 when the franchise was unsure if star left fielder Yoenis Cespedes would return to Flushing after opting out of his own deal.
But Cespedes signed back not long after that, and Bruce has been mired in waves of trade rumors ever since that day.
Some of the teams reportedly interested in the southpaw slugger have been the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, but Alderson has been unhappy with the possible returns in those deals, leading to Bruce still occupying a spot on the 25-man roster.
The molasses-like outfield market has been tough for teams to find suitable trade partners in, as free agency hasn’t cleared nearly as quickly as expected.
Bruce’s reaffirmed position in New York should line him up with Cespedes in left and Curtis Granderson in center, leaving Bruce’s cannon left arm in right field. That trio all hit 30-plus home runs last season, making them one of the most dominating power-hitting outfields in the game.
While health was a major issue for the team in Queens last season, Bruce should help quell that problem. The veteran has started no less than 137 games each season since he gained a full-time gig in Cincy in 2010.