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Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Exactly Are the Mets Doing After Trading Jay Bruce to Cleveland?

The Mets’ side of the trade is where things get more interesting, and more curious. Yes, there was little need for Bruce in Queens, what with the Mets staggering toward a sub-.500 finish and having already traded away first baseman Lucas Duda and reliever Addison Reed before the July 31 deadline. And yes, Cleveland will pay Bruce’s entire remaining salary and, yes, he can become a free agent after the season.

However, New York could have made him a qualifying offer. The rules for free agent compensation have changed (again), but the short version is that because the Mets do not receive revenue sharing and are not expected to exceed the luxury tax threshold, the pick they would get if Bruce signed elsewhere would effectively come after the second round.

Would that pick be better than a 22 year old with a 4.55 ERA in 48 career professional games who was a position player in college just two years ago? We’ll never know. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said after trading Duda and Reed to the Rays and Red Sox, respectively, that the team needed bullpen help for next year and indeed, he got four relievers in those deals. Ryan is yet another reliever—he was a catcher and infielder at North Carolina before being drafted in the 30th round last year—but he’s far enough away from the majors that it seems unlikely he could help the team in 2018 the way A.J. Ramos, acquired from the Marlins last month, will.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 10, 2017 at 02:14 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians, mets

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   1. catomi01 Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5510388)
Maybe I'm under-estimating Jay Bruce's self-evaluation or actual worth - but if I am Jay Bruce I would jump at a one year $18 M offer, no? 31 years old, 116 OPS+, OK D this year (bad basically every season before that). Per BBRef, he's made $63 M already, so I guess I could see taking a risk if I were him and holding out for a 3-4 year deal instead, but I think I'd just take the money in 2018 - and if I'm the Mets, the shot at getting an extra pick in the 2a round isn't worth the money saved + the prospect they got + being able to move conforto to a corner. See what you have in Lagares/Nimmo the rest of the season and re-invest the $4 M somewhere else. Not a great trade in the mets didn't get much in return, but better than standing pat.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5510392)
It is fair to say that the Mets got more for Reed than they did for Bruce, yes?

To be fair, though:
- Cleveland is paying the full remaining salary, and it is a good chunk of change
- It is only 45-50 games of Bruce
- A quality set up guy appears to be more valuable in this trade market right now than most bats

Reed has been very good for Boston, who is surging in August.
   3. bfan Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5510399)
after what felt like a monstrous amount of grumbling about what a sad sack Jay Bruce was, what a good season he has put forth. 116 OPS+ (Cespedes, 110); 2.5 WAR (Cespedes 0.8) in basically 2/3rds of a season (let's pro-rate to 3.7 and then round up to 4). You can be a championship team with guys putting 4 WAR.
   4. BDC Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:20 AM (#5510406)
Bruce's career line is starting to look like Reggie Sanders: a lot of Cincinnati followed by being let go annually because nobody can imagine he'll be good next year. He's only 30, the age when Sanders also started his wanderings.
   5. Buck Coats Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5510408)
Even if Bruce didn't take the QO, you only get a pick if he signs a deal worth 50M+, right? Is that really likely?
   6. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5510410)
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it sort of obvious the Mets attributed significant value to Jay Bruce not being traded to the Yankees?
   7. Lassus Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5510412)
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it sort of obvious the Mets attributed significant value to Jay Bruce not being traded to the Yankees?

Maybe they were pissed they couldn't get anything good from them for Duda.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5510414)
To be fair, though:
- Cleveland is paying the full remaining salary, and it is a good chunk of change
- It is only 45-50 games of Bruce
- A quality set up guy appears to be more valuable in this trade market right now than most bats


Also, Bruce has a not-insignificant recent history of being kind of a lousy player.
   9. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5510423)

Also, Bruce has a not-insignificant recent history of being kind of a lousy player.
That didn't stop the Mets from giving up a decent prospect for him last year.

I'm pretty pleased with what Bruce did for them this year, and with how he handled himself through all of the drama about the Mets trying to trade him, basically from the time they picked up his option. Didn't expect him to be one of the only bright spots this season. Really striking how many things went wrong for them this year, even putting the pitching staff aside--dropoffs by Cabrera, Walker, and Reyes (none totally unexpected, but all three have been hurt and/or not played well); injuries to Nimmo, Lagares, and Cespedes; d'Arnaud relatively healthy but thoroughly mediocre; TJ Rivera good for a bit and then lost for the season; and of course Wright not even sniffing around the playing field.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: August 10, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5510462)
the pick they would get if Bruce signed elsewhere would effectively come after the second round.

Would that pick be better than a 22 year old with a 4.55 ERA in 48 career professional games who was a position player in college just two years ago?
They also save $4m plus the bonus on that hypothetical pick.
   11. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5510470)
He said, modestly...

http://mets360.com/?p=33183
   12. Conor Posted: August 10, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5510477)
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it sort of obvious the Mets attributed significant value to Jay Bruce not being traded to the Yankees?


Maybe, but i think it's more they attributed significant value to not having to pay any of his salary.
   13. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 10, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5510677)
I hope that the Mets have enough faith in their developmental program/drafting that they would have kept Bruce if they knew for sure that he would decline arbitration. You hope that they feel that a draft pick in the second round is worth 5 million, because they feel that they can get that money back by drafting a player who will be worth it.

The Mets are in a weird spot. Are they going to try to contend next season? Or is it a re-building year? They have a lot of holes for a team that is hoping to contend.
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: August 10, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5510698)
[11]

Late last night, the Mets traded Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for a single-A pitcher, whose ERA is close to 5.00. If you’re on the edge of your seat, dying to ask “And…?” or “Who else?” don’t bother. That’s it. That’s all the return they got for their leading home run hitter (29), RBI producer (75) and number two man in OPS (.847). The older fans among us will recall a similar feeling in 2004, when prized young pitcher Scott Kazmir – who could have commanded a king’s ransom at the time – only brought back Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.


I assure you this feels nothing like that.
   15. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5510699)
They also save $4m plus the bonus on that hypothetical pick.
Bernie Madoff says hi.
   16. Adam Starblind Posted: August 10, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5510702)
Given how little interest there is/has been lately in sluggers generally and Bruce specifically, it seems likely that Bruce would accept the $18 million qualifying offer. Then the Mets are stuck paying a whole lot of money for a player they don't need (Cespedes/Conforto/Smith). They were right to get what they could get. Ryder's peripherals are interesting, particularly given he wasn't a full time pitcher until last year.
   17. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5510707)
Lagares called up. Will take another roster move to get Smith to the majors. Reyes DFA'd? Please?
   18. Conor Posted: August 10, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5510793)

The Mets are in a weird spot. Are they going to try to contend next season? Or is it a re-building year? They have a lot of holes for a team that is hoping to contend.


The trade for Ramos says to me they're going to try and contend. Which they probably should. It's not like their pitchers are any more likely to be healthy in 2019 than 2018.
   19. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 10, 2017 at 06:24 PM (#5510856)
Is Walker going to be back next year? Cabrera will likely be back, considering it would only cost an additional 6.5M to have him return. Does Flores get a shot at an everyday job at 2b or 3b?

It's going to be an interesting offseason.
   20. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5510876)
Smith getting the call as of Friday. Reyes/Cabrera/Walker shouldn't get a single AB at Wilmer's expense. If they're showcasing them for a trade, and the best they can do is what they got back for Bruce, it's not worth it.
   21. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5510898)
Is Walker going to be back next year? Cabrera will likely be back, considering it would only cost an additional 6.5M to have him return. Does Flores get a shot at an everyday job at 2b or 3b?

It's going to be an interesting offseason.
There's no way Cabrera's at SS in '17, right? If he returns, I assume he'll play either 3B or 2B.

As for Flores, has he given the organization any reason to believe he can be entrusted with 550-600 PAs?
   22. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 07:31 PM (#5510902)
Sss and all, but .275/.323/.456 against rhp this year. Not amazing, but I'd take him at 3b over Cabrera.
   23. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5510909)
Sss and all, but .275/.323/.456 against rhp this year. Not amazing, but I'd take him at 3b over Cabrera.
Which is why I suspect neither one will play every day.
   24. Adam Starblind Posted: August 10, 2017 at 07:53 PM (#5510917)
Flores hit his 14th homer tonight and has a line of .284/.317/.506. If he can fake a position (UZR says he's about average at 2nd), he should be a starter.
   25. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5510924)
Wilmer could slug .700 and I doubt this front office would entrust him with a starting job next season.
   26. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:10 PM (#5510930)
The choice isn't between Wilmer/Cabrera and 2007 David Wright. The question is if they're going to allocate resources to bring in another option. They don't lose anything by running him out every day and seeing what he can do. I don't want to rehash old discussions again, but Wilmer's been jerked around a lot.

To my eyes, he looks good defensively at 1b, but his bat won't play there.
   27. Adam Starblind Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:12 PM (#5510933)
He looks good defensively (UZR agrees) and his bat would play enough, but that's going to be Smith's position next year.
   28. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5510938)
I don't want to rehash old discussions again, but Wilmer's been jerked around a lot.
And that's my point.
   29. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:22 PM (#5510943)
Yeah Smith is locked in there, but even if he weren't, Wilmer would really have to crush it for them to live with the low obp. But maybe I'm overestimating what constitutes league average at 1b, don't enjoy looking this stuff up on the phone.
   30. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:56 PM (#5510976)
Your question was "As for Flores, has he given the organization any reason to believe he can be entrusted with 550-600 PAs?"

Not "will they?" but "should they?". They probably won't give him a full-time gig- - but he's given them enough cause to. In fact, I'd say the Mets jerking him around is cause to give him a shot, because there's a good chance we haven't seen his best yet.
   31. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5510981)
Your question was "As for Flores, has he given the organization any reason to believe he can be entrusted with 550-600 PAs?"

Not "will they?" but "should they?". They probably won't give him a full-time gig- - but he's given them enough cause to. In fact, I'd say the Mets jerking him around is cause to give him a shot, because there's a good chance we haven't seen his best yet.
No, dp, I was saying that the organization has seemed determined to retard his progress and seemingly nothing he does at the plate or in the field is good enough.

BTW, to this day I can't figure out why Sandy gave up on Justin Turner....
   32. formerly dp Posted: August 10, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5511053)
Yeah, that's not what you wrote. Your question was "Has he provided reasons?". I mean, yes?

Giving up on Turner made no sense. He was cheap and useful and had hit decently well. Still burns. Really an unforced error, sort of reminiscent of punting Melvin Mora bitd. One of my students used to buy the "Turner was a victim of anti-ginger bias" theory.
   33. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 10, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5511054)
No, dp, I was saying that the organization has seemed determined to retard his progress and seemingly nothing he does at the plate or in the field is good enough.

Flores is still a young guy, as he just turned 26 years old, and he has shown talent as an offensive player despite the seemingly intentional sabotaging by the franchise.

I get that Flores' performance against right handed hitters this year is a small sample, but I think it is a bit harsh to punish him for what he did as a really young player. Just because he made the majors as a young player doesn't mean he was done developing.
   34. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5511060)
Yeah, that's not what you wrote. Your question was "Has he provided reasons?". I mean, yes?
As in, has he provided reasons to satisfy a front office that seems to look for any excuse not to play him? I clarified this view in #25.

Now kindly stop with the nitpicking.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:17 AM (#5511079)
On QO possibilities ... it's certainly possible that Bruce and Duda will get offers along the lines of 2/$25 to 3/$40 and they might prefer going after those rather than 1/$18 and take their chances again in 2019. However, the new CBA also changed the rules such that a player can only be subjected to a QO once in his career, so knowing this would be the last time under a QO, taking the QO and rolling the dice on 2019 and beyond looks more attractive than it used to. But it is really hard to see either guy getting $50 M ... squinting, you might get your way to 4/$50 on one of those guys.

As to Addison Reed, it's hard to say if he's going to be viewed as a career solid reliever, a top set-up guy (based on his last few years) or a 2nd tier closer (similar). The first gets paid about $5 per year, the second guy about $8-9 per year and taking the QO would seem a no-brainer; the last probably gets $12 a year and now he's got to consider the 2/$25-3/$36 possibility.

Now that they're traded, none of them will be subject to a QO.

they would have kept Bruce if they knew for sure that he would decline arbitration

Please stop using this terminology. There is no arbitration process involved. You either offer them a 1/$18 contract** or you don't. If you offer, they accept or they don't.

Under the new rules, teams should almost never "gamble" on a QO -- i.e. it really has to be a guy you'd be happy to have back at 1/$18. Sure, it's still probably true that if you'd be happy with 1/$15, you can risk 1/$18 figuring that he'll probably decline thinking he can get at least 2/$25 from somebody else. But even then, there's almost no chance that results in compensation for you so there's unlikely to be any benefit to you in taking even that small risk. Once you're down to a player you think might be worth 1/$12, that player has to start worrying that he's going to end up like Chris Carter, Michael Saunders (1/$8), Rasmus (1/$5 following a terrible year), Holliday (1/$13) and should probably never pass up a QO.

Rasmus and Saunders are not bad comps for Duda and Bruce. Morales at 3/$33 or Trumbo at 3/$37.5 would seem to be the max.

** The exact value goes up every year, it should be about $18 this year I believe.
   36. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 11, 2017 at 07:44 AM (#5511107)
I did know about the QO, and that's what I meant by arbitration. I did not know that info about the contract needing to be worth more than 50 million.
   37. Conor Posted: August 11, 2017 at 09:17 AM (#5511127)
On QO possibilities ... it's certainly possible that Bruce and Duda will get offers along the lines of 2/$25 to 3/$40 and they might prefer going after those rather than 1/$18 and take their chances again in 2019. However, the new CBA also changed the rules such that a player can only be subjected to a QO once in his career, so knowing this would be the last time under a QO, taking the QO and rolling the dice on 2019 and beyond looks more attractive than it used to. But it is really hard to see either guy getting $50 M ... squinting, you might get your way to 4/$50 on one of those guys.


I don't thinl the $50 million total would apply to the Mets. The $50 million (I think) only applies to teams that receive revenue sharing.

According to this http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/qualifying-offer


If a team neither exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season nor receives revenue sharing, its compensatory pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B. The value of the free agent's new contract has no impact on the compensation pick in both of these cases.
   38. Buck Coats Posted: August 11, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5511190)
Wow, thanks, that's not what I had read at all, but clearly that's the actual rule.
   39. cmd600 Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:41 PM (#5511284)
Obviously if it just goes straight into Wilpon's pocket, it's not better for the team, but I think the Mets are right to prefer salary saving to a prospect if the $5M is going back into the product on the field. Sure, the odds that the Mets pitchers will stay healthy enough to give them a shot at the postseason in 2018 aren't great, but I'm pretty sure they should at least try to go for it. $5M more talent on the 2018 squad does more for them than the equivalent of $5M of prospect-talent in 2021 and beyond.
   40. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 11, 2017 at 03:51 PM (#5511487)
14

I assure you this feels nothing like that.


Oh, I was there. I remember it well. I remember thinking, "That's it?" I was thinking they could have pried away Rocco Baldelli for him. Or something...

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