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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sources: Jay Bruce returning to Mets on 3-year, $39M contract

With Bruce back in the fold, the Mets’ 2018 starting outfield is likely to consist of Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Michael Conforto in center and Bruce in right.

Conforto hit 27 home runs last season and made his first career All-Star team before suffering a dislocated shoulder in August and undergoing surgery to repair a torn posterior capsule. Although the Mets have said his rehab is going well, it’s questionable whether he’ll be ready by Opening Day.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 10, 2018 at 10:41 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jay bruce, mets

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   1. Lassus Posted: January 11, 2018 at 06:12 AM (#5604454)
What in the hell?
   2. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 11, 2018 at 06:37 AM (#5604458)
I guess he should help (though I hope he sits vs. lefties), but given the size of the contract, the fact that the Mets already have two better hitters who should be playing the OF corners, and that Bruce was said to not want to play in NY, I'll second what Lassus said. This is not a move I'd expect from Alderson. Time to prepare for a few more years of horrendous outfield defense.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 07:46 AM (#5604464)
The Mets need a starting pitcher and a third baseman and a second baseman and a first baseman and probably a center fielder and they have a limited budget. Good move.
   4. formerly dp Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:08 AM (#5604469)
#3: I'm not going to defend this move, but I think the expectation is that Conforto will play some CF action when he's ready. But seeing as they spent last offseason trying to give Bruce away, with essentially the same gaggle of OFs on the roster, this is a puzzling signing. I think it's pretty likely that Nimmo could outperform Bruce this year, taking defense and baserunning into account (which is less a statement about how good Nimmo is and more an indictment of Bruce). In terms of 2B/3B: they have Cabrera, Rivera, and Flores--not a crew that inspires a ton of confidence, but if they do bring Reyes back, that's an OK set of bodies. I'd prefer to see them get Kipnis, if the asking price were lower. Seems the Indians want to keep him now. The problem for the Mets is they don't really have talent to deal *and* they can't take on much salary in a straight dump.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5604495)
Could they not have signed Todd Frazier for just a little more?

Dopes Frazier really turn down 3/45 at this point?
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5604498)
That was weird, I was surprised when this news wasn't in the feed. I submitted an article and came back to the newsstand and presto, a link from last night.

I tagged it as "High price of mediocrity". Ken Davidoff thought it was brilliant strategy for Alderson to wait and grab him now. YMMV. ;) Keep it up, Mets! As the Nats age, maybe the Phils core of young, unexceptional talent can back door a division title in the next 5 years with an 83-79 record.
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5604503)
This should play great with Mets fans. I seem to recall that during the year-long period between trading for him and then trading him the only response from anyone was "Why is this guy here? Trade him already!"
   8. Elvis Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5604505)
"Time to prepare for a few more years of horrendous outfield defense."

The Mets' outfield defense the past few years has been quite good. Now you can argue that Juan Lagares played a big role in that but if somehow the 2018 defense is bad, it won't be a continuation of a pattern - it will be a 180 degree turn.

In 1,151.2 innings over two partial seasons with the Mets, Bruce has a 6.0 UZR and a +12 DRS in RF. A healthy Yoenis Cespedes is likely a plus fielder in LF. The question is how bad Conforto is in CF. But my opinion is that even if Conforto is as bad as 2017 Denard Span (-27 DRS in 1.039 innings in CF) - it wouldn't make the Mets' outfield defense horrendous. Especially since they still have the ability to bring in Lagares to play in key spots late.

That definition may fit the team's infield defense, especially if Flores ends up the starter at 2B.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5604506)
Dopes Frazier really turn down 3/45 at this point?


Depends on how much of a dope he is.
   10. Adam Starblind Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5604514)
Bizarre allocation of resources. A normal team would have gone hard for Cain and Frazier, or possible Moustakas if his price dropped.
   11. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5604517)
Cain and Moustakas possibly cost a draft pick(s).

Signing Frazier was clearly the most sensible thing that the Mets could have done if they were going to sign someone to this sort of contract.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5604530)
This should play great with Mets fans. I seem to recall that during the year-long period between trading for him and then trading him the only response from anyone was "Why is this guy here? Trade him already!"
I'm trying to think of other situations in which teams re-acquired players their fanbase hated. The Yankees with Javier Vazquez is one. There was the Royals with Betancourt.
   13. Elvis Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5604540)
In January of 2017, the majority of the Mets' fanbase hated Bruce, both for his lack of production once he joined the club and what the team gave up to get him. But in January of 2018, that no longer applies. Bruce was very productive last year and the guys they gave up to get him did nothing.

Fans may wish that the club got an infielder or a CF instead of Bruce. But I doubt many fans are upset because they have to see Jay Bruce in a Mets uniform again.
   14. manchestermets Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5604559)
But I doubt many fans are upset because they have to see Jay Bruce in a Mets uniform again.


Well they should be. Bruce's 2017 2.9 WAR season season followed hot on the heels of 0.6, 0.8 and -1.1 WAR seasons. Now, I admit that going a year further back than that yields a 5.3 WAR in 2013, but for all we like to think Alderson is smart, he appears to have looked at 2017 in isolation here, when there's no reason to think that a 3 win season is a norm for Bruce rather than an outlier. This is a crappy move, from a crappy team with a crappy front office and crappy ownership.
   15. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5604572)
But in January of 2018, that no longer applies. Bruce was very productive last year and the guys they gave up to get him did nothing.

Fans may wish that the club got an infielder or a CF instead of Bruce. But I doubt many fans are upset because they have to see Jay Bruce in a Mets uniform again


Here.

I like the move and it's a relative bargain. If the Mets want to loosen things up -- and I'd bet my last buck that they won't, but hey... -- they could still nab Frazier in a decent deal.
   16. catomi01 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5604581)
I'm trying to think of other situations in which teams re-acquired players their fanbase hated. The Yankees with Javier Vazquez is one. There was the Royals with Betancourt.


A-rod - if you count the opt-out as him leaving. Didn't play for anyone else though.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5604588)
This is a crappy move, from a crappy team with a crappy front office and crappy ownership.

Nah. It's a mediocre move, by an average team, with an average front office, and crappy ownership.
   18. formerly dp Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5604593)
It's tough to evaluate this deal without seeing what the remaining FAs get. Still amazed we haven't seen the floodgates open, figured this would be the week...
   19. manchestermets Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5604603)
Nah. It's a mediocre move


Perhaps, but it has every chance of turning out crappy. Would anyone be surprised if he was only worth 3-4 wins over the course of the contract?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5604613)
Perhaps, but it has every chance of turning out crappy. Would anyone be surprised if he was only worth 3-4 wins over the course of the contract?

Just like every FA signing. 3-4 wins is worth something like $20-30M in today's market. Teams are giving 1 WAR RPs 3/27.

If he goes 2 WAR, 1.5 WAR, 0.5 WAR, the deal is hardly a disaster.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5604617)
Truly don't get this. He doesn't fit on the team. Conforto isn't a centerfielder.

I didn't get it the first time either.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5604621)
Truly don't get this. He doesn't fit on the team. Conforto isn't a centerfielder.


Perhaps he's ticketed for 1B. They may not believe in Smith.
   23. Conor Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5604630)
It makes some amount of sense if he ends up at first base, I guess. It's just that there are a decent amount of holes on the roster, but corner OF isn't one of them. It's one of the strengths of the team. And the mets have a very limited budget. So, very puzzling.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5604643)
It makes some amount of sense if he ends up at first base, I guess. It's just that there are a decent amount of holes on the roster, but corner OF isn't one of them. It's one of the strengths of the team. And the mets have a very limited budget. So, very puzzling.

Don't disagree. We'll have to wait and see what else they do.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5604674)
That's true, Smith may stumble, and Bruce makes sense there.

It seems like "we like him, the price is right, let's just get him and see what happens." That was kind of the argument the first time around and I suppose it worked out. He played pretty well.
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5604679)
I'm trying to think of other situations in which teams re-acquired players their fanbase hated.


The Pirates signing an elderly Ryan Vogelsong a couple of years ago probably qualifies.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5604684)
I'm trying to think of other situations in which teams re-acquired players their fanbase hated.


Carlos Beltran, Astros.

Bobby Bonilla, Mets.
   28. Conor Posted: January 11, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5604723)
That's true, Smith may stumble, and Bruce makes sense there.

It seems like "we like him, the price is right, let's just get him and see what happens." That was kind of the argument the first time around and I suppose it worked out. He played pretty well.


It seems like the Mes FO really likes Bruce. I feel like they tried to trade for him once or twice before they actually got him. Pretty sure he was rumored in 2015 before they got Cespedes.
   29. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 11, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5604756)
It makes some amount of sense if he ends up at first base, I guess. It's just that there are a decent amount of holes on the roster, but corner OF isn't one of them. It's one of the strengths of the team. And the mets have a very limited budget. So, very puzzling.

It's a very SSS but the Reds tried Bruce for a few games in 2014, the year Votto was hurt for most of the year. He looked awful. This was in the middle of the season and Bruce hadn't played any 1B before AFAIK, so I'm inclined to cut him some slack and think he could improve his footwork given the reps. But it seems like a stretch that he could be even average as a 1B. I see that he played a dozen games there last year as well but rated poorly.
   30. Captain Supporter Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5604782)
This should play great with Mets fans.


Nothing plays great with Met fans. For laughs I listened to WFAN to get the reaction to the signing and Benigno/Roberts and all of the 'long suffering' Met fans were killing it and calling for the immediate signing of Cain, Hosmer, Moustakes, Lucroy and every other available free agent.

The reality is that the only thing that would play great with Met fans is an immediate sale by the Wilpons.
   31. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5604787)
That would play very well, indeed. Do you think Mets fans should be happy with ownership?
   32. Captain Supporter Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5604839)
Do you think Mets fans should be happy with ownership?


I think that the Mets have a good GM, and that the owners are nowhere near as bad as Met fans make them out to be. They want to win, but they want to keep their payroll within certain boundaries. Note that the payroll grew from $93M to $135 million over the last four years (while building a team that went to the World Series and was in the playoffs three times) so we are not talking about the Marlins here. Before whining about the apparent cuts this year, Met fans should of course be advised to wait until March before acting out in their usual fashion. Waiting in fact seems to be paying dividends.

So are the Wilpon's the total disaster they are made out to be? I don't think so, which is not the same thing as saying they are great. To me, the biggest problem with the franchise is not the lack of free agent signings; its the failure to build a stronger farm system. But the working assumption among a large portion of Met fans is that every single thing they do is bad, and the data does not support that.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5604841)
The Mets are a mid-range team now. Mid-range payroll. They have mid-range ambitions.

It's obvious why NYC fans expect more. I'm resigned to it, personally.

In the past the organization was clearly dysfunctional, but Alderson has changed that. I think the Wilpons have a stupid meddling streak in them, but they're not among the worst, as they can keep it in check or be kept in check by a competent GM.
   34. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5604842)
The Pirates signing an elderly Ryan Vogelsong a couple of years ago probably qualifies.

Why was Vogelsong disliked in Pittsburgh? He always seems well-liked and respected in San Francisco.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5604844)
Note that the payroll grew from $93M to $135 million over the last four years (while building a team that went to the World Series and was in the playoffs three times) so we are not talking about the Marlins here.


Twice.
   36. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5604846)
Not-the-Marlins isn't really a high bar to clear.
   37. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 11, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5604889)
Note that the payroll grew from $93M to $135 million over the last four years (while building a team that went to the World Series and was in the playoffs three times) so we are not talking about the Marlins here.

David Wright's contract is largely covered by insurance, is it not? So the salary is more like 115 million. Considering how salaries and payrolls have increased in the last 4 years, that might be relatively less money on payroll than before.

I am almost certain that Bruce is going to suck for the Mets. I thought he would for the Mets when they first acquired him and he was a pleasant surprise but you do not test fate twice.
   38. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 11, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5604895)
To me, the biggest problem with the franchise is not the lack of free agent signings; its the failure to build a stronger farm system.

What does that say about Alderson?

What do you guys make of the rumors about Kipnis?
   39. formerly dp Posted: January 11, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5604906)
I really don't understand this feeling that they need to spend money on a backup for Smith--especially one who bats lefty. This team is going to sink or swim long-term based on Smith/Rosario. Signing Bruce for 3 years creates a headache next offseason, unless they're really convinced themselves Conforto can hack CF long-term. If it were my team, I would've tried to sign Cain, and failing that, just rolled with a Lagares/Nimmo defense/offense platoon/combo in CF.
   40. formerly dp Posted: January 11, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5604908)
What do you guys make of the rumors about Kipnis?
They haven't re-surfaced since early December, have they? Impression I got was that Cleveland was trying to move him, then gave up when they realized teams were expecting to get him for basically a salary dump, and are now saying that he's their starting 2B in 2018. Can't tell if this is a bluff to increase his trade value, though.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5604948)
This team is going to sink or swim long-term based on Smith/Rosario.


I like Rosario. He might end up a similar player to Reyes, actually.

Smith looks like a James Loney or David Segui type to me. To look for more, you've got to really bank on his youth being an important factor. So no, I don't think his success will determine the fate of the Mets.
   42. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5604993)
Smith did flash some home run power in the big leagues last year but who knows what that means in the year of the homer. He's still pretty young but the power was lacking in the minors. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world that he go to the minors for further seasoning. I get the idea that he's not the guy you make room for but I don't think Jay Bruce is good enough a player to block a decent prospect for either.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jay Bruce's value is tied into his ability to hit homers and last year was an easy year to hit homers. He may be a player that is affected by a more normal home run rate more than most.

I wonder how much playing time Nimmo/Lagares get this year.
   43. formerly dp Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5605107)
Didn't mean to suggest that Smith will be some sort of superstar, but if he can be mid-career David Segui in 2018 (Smith would be lucky to have Segui's career), the Mets can spend money elsewhere. The farm has had a remarkable inability to translate prospects into solid regulars (Conforto being the exception) for a while now. Nimmo, Flores, d'Arnaud each had solid reps/performance in the minors, and were unable to cement themselves as reliable regulars in the majors.
   44. Adam Starblind Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5605135)
Nimmo showed some promise last year in limited playing time. 0.9 bWAR in 215 PA.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5605143)
Nimmo, Flores, d'Arnaud each had solid reps/performance in the minors, and were unable to cement themselves as reliable regulars in the majors.


d'Arnaud is the only actual disappointment in this short list. Some of that is injuries, and distractions from his shoddy defense, both of which were known issues. Sometimes prospects don't work out. He's still a starter. Not a total bust.

Flores was seen as a potential wonderkid early on, but by the time he reached the high minors we all knew that he was the guy he is now, a decent hitter and poor infielder.

Nimmo was seen as a major project on the day he was drafted. His long journey to the majors was not a surprise. I don't think you can complain about where he is now.

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