Free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce has narrowed his list of potential destinations and the New York Mets apparently haven’t made the cut.
The New York Mets have been interested in a reunion with Jay Bruce all offseason. Bruce, who was traded to the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline last season, was speaking to the team during the Winter Meetings about potentially resigning.
However, he has since narrowed his list, and the Mets do not appear to be in the running to land the outfielder/first baseman. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bruce is mainly interested in signing with either the San Francisco Giants or the Houston Astros.
Agent Matt Sosnick says on @knbr Jay Bruce wanted to play with #SFGiants or Houston, which doesn't have money for him. "I think if Jay ends up in San Francisco he'd be thrilled."
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) December 20, 2017
It seems most likely that the Giants land him, as the Astros don’t have the kind of money to spend that Bruce is looking for. The Giants also have a hole in their outfield that Bruce could fill.
Bruce was a three-time All-Star, most recently in 2016 before he was traded to the Mets. He won back to back Silver Slugger awards in 2012 and 2013.
He spent parts of the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Mets, playing 153 games. He hit .245 but slugged 37 home runs collected 94 RBIs.
He’s primarily played right field in his career, although he has spent limited time at first base. The Mets were hoping that Bruce could split time at an outfield position and at first base, especially if Dominic Smith proves himself to be unready for the job.
If the Mets are out on Bruce, it could increase the chances that they try to sign Adrian Gonzalez to back up Smith at first base, although it’s thought that he would like a chance to start somewhere. The team has been linked to him since his release from the Atlanta Braves.
The lack of interest that Bruce has in returning to the team also increases the chances of Juan Lagares seeing regular playing time in center field.