When the New York Mets acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline, his $13 million team option for 2017 seemed below market value. Bruce, 29, managed a .265 batting average with 25 home runs in the first half of 2016 for the Reds. Despite his ineptitude in the field and versus left-handed pitching, his first half production would have been a boon for the hampered Mets’ offense.IMO the Mets have to re-sign Jay Bruce. Michael Conforto had his chance to be an everyday outfielder, but blew it. Bruce like Granderson is a streaky hitter, but they're both vets and have proven to be more than capable of providing big hits when you need them.
Bruce struggled mightily upon his arrival in Queens, however, hitting just .219 with eight home runs. To his credit, he showed flashes of brilliance over his final 28 plate appearances, batting .480.
With almost $20 million in arbitration raises, and the likelihood of extending Neil Walker’s $17.2 million qualifying offer, the Mets’ Opening Day payroll could see a $30 million spike (assuming the team makes a run at re-signing Yoenis Cespedes). The presence of Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto also displaces Bruce, putting his future with the Mets in question.
Still, general manager Sandy Alderson may retain Bruce on his team option, and attempt to spin him off in a trade.