Puma also notes that the Mets are still talking to the veteran outfielder and that he already has one offer in hand. The Mets have shown interest in Bruce this entire offseason as they hope to add someone that plays first base as well as corner outfield.
Original Post – 8:17 a.m.
Free agent outfielder Jay Bruce started the offseason by reportedly asking for a five-year deal. That target has now been lowered to a four-year deal but the New York Mets only feel comfortable giving him three.
Despite a fine offensive season in 2017, there hasn’t been a big market for the veteran slugging right fielder. Along with the Mets the Seatle Mariners (before Dee Gordon trade), Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants have showed varying levels of interest in signing Bruce.
Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, was on KNBR out of San Francisco on Wednesday and has this to say about where Bruce would like to play, “We’ve talked about it peripherally but Bobby (Evans, Giants GM) knows that Jay, given his choice to play in San Francisco, you know he really wanted to play in San Francisco or Houston. Houston made it clear they just didn’t have a need for him and a fit. And I think it works out as a perfect fit for the Giants and we have to figure out the lay of the land whether it works for the Giants and if it works for us. I think if Jay ended up in San Francisco, he’d be thrilled.”
The Giants of course made a big splash on Wednesday when they traded infield prospect Carlos Arroyo, veteran outfielder Denard Span and two pitching prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for third baseman Evan Longoria.
Brian Sabean, Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Giants, hinted that they were going to make a another deal “just as big” when answering questions about the Longoria trade on Wednesday.
Bruce, 30, hit .254/.324/.508 with a career-high 36 home runs, 101 RBI and 115 OPS+ in 147 games between the Mets and the Cleveland Indians in 2017. He played 12 games at first base in the majors during the 2017 and looked passable there with 0 DRS in 91 innings. He had 6 DRS in right field combined for the season.
The Mets are interested in bringing Bruce back as insurance to the recovery time of Michael Conforto coming off surgery and to the young Dominic Smith at first base after his big league debut struggles.
Bruce’s agent is confident is that he can get the slugger the four years that he seeks, “I think that hopefully he can get four years, we’ve had an offer already and we have another team I think is making another offer tonight [Wednesday].”