Trade talks between the Mets and Brewers for All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy may have broken down, but the possibility of New York trading with the Reds for outfielder Jay Bruce is still very much alive.
As recently as Saturday night, the Mets were considered "very involved" in talks with Cincinnati according to Reds beat reporter Mark Sheldon. Acquiring Bruce would give Terry Collins another powerful bat to play around with.
What would the New York outfield look like with Bruce, though? It would likely feature the new guy in right field alongside Curtis Granderson in center field and Yoenis Cespedes in left field. This is based on the Mets’ propensity this year towards loading their outfield with offensive power rather than solid gloves for defense.
Even when Juan Lagares was healthy, the Mets avoided using him in center field in favor of Cespedes. When Cespedes hurt his quad and decided to stick in his traditional corner spot, it meant not more playing time for Lagares, but center field experiments for Granderson and Michael Conforto.
Signing Bruce would probably mean relegating Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas and the newly acquired Justin Ruggiano to the bench. The Mets would be banking on Bruce — who has 25 home runs and a .875 OPS this season — hitting enough long balls to make up for the team’s defensive deficiencies.
Whether the Mets take that chance depends on the price Cincinnati is asking for as well as what the other teams involved are willing to give up in order to claim the left-handed slugger.