Since being traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Mets, Jay Bruce hasn’t been doing very well. Maybe it’s because he never wanted to end up playing in New York City anyway.
Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News argues that when the Reds told Bruce that he was going to be traded, he asked the Reds to trade him anywhere but New York. He didn’t give a specific reason to not want the New York Mets to be his next team, but considering he’s been batting just .210 since joining them, 5.5 batting points below his numbers with the Reds in 2016, he knew what he was saying. Not that they listened to him.
Bruce has 4 home runs in 115 plate appearances for the Mets, while he did very well for the Reds this season to raise his value and make himself tradable again. He batted .265 with a career high .875 OPS, hitting 25 home runs through 402 plate appearances, making the All-Star game for the first time since 2012. Very little of that has shown since joining the Mets, although he did hit a home run in the last game, as they beat the Washington Nationals 5-1.
Bruce has a lot of money riding on his performance with the Mets, whether they make the playoffs or not. They have a $13 million team option on him next season, or they can buy him out for $1 million. Bruce produced like someone worthy of that money for the first time in three years during his Cincinnati phase of the season. However, the rebuilding Reds were trying to trade him since the offseason, and they didn’t really care what Bruce was hoping to get.
The Mets landed Max Wotell and Dilson Herrera, both still not appearing for the Reds this season, and unlikely to appear at the moment. Considering their performances in the minors, Herrera, an infielder, is much closer to his major league debut than Wotell is.