The New York Mets continue to express interest in a slew of potential free agents and are still talking trade with at least one team.
MLB’s Hot Stove League has been anything but hot this offseason, but Tuesday at least offers some speculation that we can sink our teeth into.
Newsday‘s Steven Marcus reports that the New York Mets are still interested in bringing Jay Bruce and Addison Reed back into the fold. He also noted that the club is still having discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding outfielder Andrew McCutchen and second baseman Josh Harrison.
— steven marcus (@newsdaymarcus) January 9, 2018
The Mets acquired Bruce at the 2016 deadline in exchange for Max Wotell and Dilson Herrera. The Texas native performed abysmally and was expected to be trade bait after the Mets picked up his team option last offseason. Bruce would then go on to be one of the team’s most productive hitters in 2017, launching 29 home runs and accumulating 75 RBI. He was then dealt away to the Cleveland Indians in August in exchange for Ryder Ryan.
Reed joined the Mets in time for their World Series run back in 2015. He was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Miller Diaz and Matt Koch. Once a shaky closer with the D-Backs, the Amazins’ found a way to morph Reed into a productive and deadly eighth-inning man. In parts of three seasons with the club, he had an ERA of 2.09. When it was evident the Mets would not compete for a playoff spot, the team jettisoned him to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Gerson Bautista, Stephen Nogosek, and Jamie Callahan.
Bruce’s ability to play first base and both corner outfield slots make him a favorable candidate for a return. With the extended absence of Michael Conforto looming and the prospect of poor play from Dominic Smith at first, having a versatile, proven bat like Bruce could prove invaluable for this club.
The return of Reed would do wonders in strengthening a bullpen that ranked high on the list of priorities for the Mets this offseason. Signing Anthony Swarzak was a step in the right direction, but the Mets will need to do more to ensure that their bullpen is sound and able to compete.
It is unlikely to see the Mets acquire McCutchen or Harrison due to their lack of trade assets. The graduation of Smith and Amed Rosario as prospects has left New York’s farm system thin and without replenishing their assets, it is tough to envision a potential deal. Factor in that McCutchen is due $14.5 million in 2018, the final year of his contract, and that Harrison is due $30 million through 2020 and it doesn’t seem likely that the Mets would be willing—or able—to pry either loose from Pittsburgh.