Could a Bruce 2018 Flushing reunion tour be in the works?
Jay Bruce, the free-agent outfielder and occasional first baseman who played well this past postseason with Cleveland after an August trade by the Mets, has a strong interest in returning to Flushing, the Daily News has learned. If Bruce were to sign a deal with the Mets, he would be reunited with new manager Mickey Callaway, the former Indians’ pitching coach.
Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told The News Thursday that recently “there’s been a lot of interest” from teams in the 30-year-old lefty-swinging Bruce, but that the Mets have not made any offer yet. Sosnick added that Bruce’s camp hasn’t “really had deep discussions” with the Mets.
“There have not been any substantial discussions with Jay’s camp and the Mets this offseason,” said Sosnick. “But we’ve agreed to stay in touch.”
Jay Bruce originally came to the Mets in a 2016 deadline trade with Cincinnati.
Bruce originally came to the Mets in a 2016 deadline trade with Cincinnati, but he struggled his first few months with his new club, batting .219 in 50 games that season with the Mets. He was 0-for-3 in the 2016 wild-card game against the Giants.
Earlier this year in Port St. Lucie, Bruce offered to take ground balls at first during spring training when Lucas Duda got injured. He played 11 games at first for Terry Collins and the Mets in 2017, and socked 29 homers prior to his trade to the Indians. In the division series against the Yankees, Bruce punished the Bombers’ pitching, whacking two homers and batting .278 in five games. The Yankees got the last laugh and advanced to the ALCS.
Dominic Smith has already acknowledged that he will have to fight for the first base job with the Mets entering 2018 spring training, after Smith scuffled during his first taste of the majors, batting .198 over 49 games. Bruce would offer a veteran presence in the clubhouse, versatility in the field and a power bat in the middle of the lineup.