With Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley going on the DL with a sprained right ankle earlier today, the Indians were looking for another bat to add to their lineup. The Indians struck gold by acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce via trade with the New York Mets. The Mets will receive 22-year-old pitching prospect Ryder Ryan.
Indians Acquire Jay Bruce from Mets
With the Mets having a dreadful season to this point, it’s not surprising that New York decided to move the 30-year-old outfielder. Cleveland was interested in trading for Bruce before the deadline, but now seems like a more opportune time with both Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall on the disabled list. Cleveland is also trying to fight off the Kansas City Royals, who are only 3.5 games behind the Indians in the AL Central.
Bruce has a limited no trade clause, which allows him to block trades to eight teams, including the Indians. Although Bruce could have denied the trade to Cleveland, he would otherwise have been on a noncontending team during the stretch run. Cleveland will only be paying $4 MM of Bruce’s $13 MM contract.
Bruce’s left-handed power will provide good relief for the Indians as both Brantley and Chisenhall come back from the DL, and Cleveland could use Bruce’s power to protect Edwin Encarnacion in the middle of their lineup as the Indians push their way back into the postseason.
Bruce has posted good numbers for the scuffling Mets this season, as he is slashing .258/.342/.542, with 29 big flies coming into today. Although he has struggled on the base paths and was caught stealing in his one attempt all year, he is a reliable glove in the outfield, currently holding a .976 fielding percentage.
Although the Mets will be losing a quality player in Jay Bruce, it was important for New York to clear his contract. Bruce will be more on the expensive side next year, at around $18 MM for one year in free agency. The Mets have plans to use Michael Conforto in a more permanent role, and New York would be able to pair up Juan Lagares or Brandon Nimmo, with Conforto in the outfield. This will also allow New York to call up first base prospect Dominic Smith.
As for the Mets new pitching prospect Ryder Ryan, he has thrown 41.1 frames at the Class-A level, with a 4.79 ERA and a 10.7 K/9. Ryan also holds a 3.7 BB/9.