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Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce (19) hits an RBI single at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Bruce (19) hits an RBI single at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce started at first base Thursday for the first time since 2014, when he played just three games filling in for Joey Votto and the Reds.

In the wake of Lucas Duda needing to have an MRI on his hyperextended elbow, and with Wilmer Flores unavailable with an infection in his knee, Bruce handled first base, where he started one game and practiced during spring training.

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Bruce's first homer 00:00:56
Jay Bruce gives the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Phillies with his three-run homer in the sixth inning.

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce hit two home runs, including the game-winner, and drove in five runs with three hits out of the cleanup spot during Wednesday's 5-4 win over the Phillies.

With the score tied in the eighth inning, Bruce homered on the second pitch from Edubray Ramos, sending the ball just over the right-field wall to give the Mets the lead.

"It's great," Bruce said after the game about his experience so far this season. "Like I said, individually, I don't really take too much time to think about what I'm doing or my success or anything during the season, but it was good to be a huge part of that tonight and get a win for us coming off a tough four-game skid."

In the sixth-inning, he crushed a three-run home run off starter Vince Velasquez, prior to which he also doubled in the first inning that led to Yoenis Cespedes being thrown out at home plate.

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 (Laurence Kesterson/AP)
(Laurence Kesterson/AP)

Mets OF Jay Bruce, who was acquired in a trade with the Reds last summer, is getting comfortable in New York, Jerry Crasnick explains in a profile for ESPN.com.

"I understand how people come up with their thoughts,'' Bruce told Crasnick, when asked about the idea that he couldn't handle New York. "It's like the fun, cool thing to say that New York is too big for people. I think it's a pride thing with people from New York, and I get it."

"It's an amazing city," he added. "It's chewed a lot of people up and spit them out. That doesn't even exist to me, though. This is the team I'm playing baseball for, with an incredible opportunity. I was just bad at baseball for a month.''

Mets manager Terry Collins said coming to New York is an adjustment for everyone, not just Bruce...

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Collins, d'Arnaud, Smoker on win 00:05:33
Manager Terry Collins, catcher Travis d'Arnaud, and pitcher Josh Smoker discuss the grit it took to pull off the Mets' epic 16-inning win.

Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 0.69 ERA) and the Mets will play the second game of a four-game series with the Marlins tonight at 7:10 p.m.

Syndergaard gave up one earned run and struck out nine in seven innings against the Marlins on April 9. He has only given up one run in two starts this season.

Adam Conley (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will start for the Marlins. Conley gave up only one hit -- a home run -- and struck out six in five innings against the Mets on April 8.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Mets open a four-game series against the Marlins in Miami on Thursday night at 7:10.

Here are five things to know...

  1. Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes are tied for the National League lead in home runs with four each.
  2. The Mets hit 10 home runs during their just-completed three-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. It was the second time in franchise history that they hit 10 or more home runs in a three-game series, with the other time coming last season in Philadelphia (12 homers from April 18-20)...
Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes
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Adam Rubin, SNY.tv:

Michael Conforto homered Wednesday as the Mets completed a three-game sweep in Philadelphia, giving him a pair of long balls and a .538 on-base percentage in limited opportunities this season.

Yet the numbers that dictate Conforto no longer belongs in the minor leagues were posted last year. During a pair of stints with Triple-A Las Vegas, Conforto hit .422 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Josh Edgin, Juan Lagares, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Bruce goes deep for second time 00:00:50
Jay Bruce hits a two-run home run in the seventh inning to give the Mets a 4-2 lead over the Phillies.

Jay Bruce hit clean-up, started in right field and hit two home runs Monday to power the Mets to a 4-3 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Bruce's second home run of the night -- and his third in the past two games -- broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning when he drove Joely Rodriguez's 1-2 pitch over the right-field fence to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.

"I want to be a good player," Bruce said after the game. "I want to help this team win. I believe that we have a legitimate chance to win a World Series and I just want to be one of the pieces to the puzzle."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Philadelphia Phillies
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/10 00:04:22
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 4-3 road win over the Phillies, in which Jay Bruce hit two home runs.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Jay Bruce's no-doubt two-run homer in the eighth snapped a 2-2 tie. It was his second roundtripper of the game and his third in two nights. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk, three RBIs and three runs scored. His four home runs and nine RBIs are tied for the Major League lead.

2) Jacob deGrom allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while tossing 31 pitches in the first inning. Overall, he surrendered six hits and two walks while striking out two over six frames, retiring 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce
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Granderson (3) reacts after striking out against the Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Granderson (3) reacts after striking out against the Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

There's no need to panic. Sure, if you want to nitpick, the Mets were aided by an error from Marlins catcher JT Realmuto in a three-run first inning Sunday en route to a 5-2 victory.

And, yes, the Mets rank last in the National League in batting average (.200) and on-base percentage (.271) and second-to-last in slugging percentage (.325) with one week of the season in the books. Yet it would be foolish to sound the alarm bells simply because the Mets had a quiet first week at the plate, despite posting a 3-3 record against the Braves and Marlins.

As a result, more and more Mets fans on Twitter are suddenly complaining that the team did not do enough this past winter to upgrade their offense.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets reflect on Sunday's win 00:06:16
Terry Collins, Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto react to the Mets' 5-2 win Sunday against the Marlins.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Noah Syndergaard was charged with two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks while striking out nine in seven innings. He became the first Mets starter to pitch seven innings this season.

2) The Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first off Marlins starter Edinson VolquezNeil Walker had and RBI single and Michael Conforto drew a bases loaded walk. Asdrubal Cabrera scored the first run on an error by Miami catcher J.T Realmuto, who missed Justin Bour's throw home.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/5/17 00:03:08
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Braves.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Five things you should know about today's game...

1) Jacob deGrom allowed two hits and a walk while striking out six over six scoreless innings in his first start since undergoing offseason elbow surgery.

2) Handed a 1-0 lead, Hansel Robles faced five batters in the seventh and retired just one before leaving with the bases loaded and the game tied. Jerry Blevins retired the next two batters to keep the score, 1-1.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Rafael Montero
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Apr 3, 2017; Fans enter Citi Field through the Jackie Robinson rotunda on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; Fans enter Citi Field through the Jackie Robinson rotunda on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's me again. After 14 seasons as a Mets beat reporter, for the Daily News and then ESPN, I joined the New York Institute of Technology in February as its assistant athletic director for strategic communications, promoting the Old Westbury school's Division I baseball team as well as a dozen other sports competing at the Division II level.

The job involves pitching stories to media about the program, plus ensuring the school's athletics website -- NYITBears.com --and social media have solid content.

Still, when SNY graciously asked if I would be interested in contributing to its website on a part-time basis, I couldn't resist. I will be providing analysis pieces about the Mets, as well as popular staples from my days as a beat reporter, including the "Farm Report," which contains a feature and notes about Mets minor leaguers. We plan to launch our weekly minor-league content next Wednesday and continue it for the duration of the season.

Thank you to SNY's Fred Harner and Matthew Cerrone for making this happen.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto to start 2017 in majors 00:06:03
Loud Mouths weighs the benefits and detriments of Michael Conforto starting the season with the Major League club.

Michael Conforto had been preparing to begin this season at Triple-A Las Vegas, he told reporters earlier this week.

However, because Juan Lagares is likely headed to the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, Conforto is now at Citi Field and expected to be on the Opening Day roster.

"I am excited to be with the team and any role I'll play, I just want to win ballgames and see how far we can take this thing this year," Conforto added, according to Mike Puma of the NY Post.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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GEICO SportsNite: Zack Wheeler 00:01:26
Zack Wheeler says that he showed he can still be locked in on the mound, while Terry Collins says that Wheeler will have pressure on him.

Zack Wheeler allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two during five scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Marlins, 5-0, in Jupiter.

Seth Lugo allowed eight hits (including three homers) and four runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mets lots to the Nationals, 6-0, in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Josh Edgin, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, TJ Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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Lagares vs. Conforto in outfield 00:04:20
The Mets Talk Live panel discusses Juan Larages' oblique strain and whether or not Michael Conforto will be playing for him.

At this point, Michael Conforto will almost certainly replace Juan Lagares. To be honest, I think the roster spot may have first gone to Brandon Nimmo, because the Mets really want Conforto playing every day - even if it meant doing so in Triple-A Las Vegas.

Unfortunately Nimmo is nursing a hamstring injury and is also doubtful for the start of the season, so Conforto is the only option left to be the team's fourth outfielder - even if it again means inconsistent at bats and covering center field, where he's only played six times during his career.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Jay Bruce starts at first 00:02:59
Mets Talk Live discusses Jay Bruce's start at first base against the Astros and if he will get more starts there during the season.

Jay Bruce played four innings at first base during Tuesday's win against the Astros.

"Well, no one got hurt, so that's a good sign," he said smiling after the game. "I've played first base a lot in my life, just not very much in the big leagues."

In an effort to create back-up options to Lucas Duda, Terry Collins said he approached Bruce about playing first base at the start of camp.

"I wasn't sure, being a veteran guy, being in his free agent year, how he would handle it," Collins told USA Today in late February. "But he came in, and has handled it great."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

Jay Bruce will start at first base on Tuesday when the Mets travel to face the Astros.

Yoenis CespedesJuan Lagares, and Curtis Granderson are starting in the outfield Tuesday, from left to right. Lucas Duda is the designated hitter.

Bruce said earlier during spring training that he would be willing to play first base during the regular season -- something Neil Walker and David Wright are also open to.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Bruce continues hot spring 00:05:11
Jay Bruce is off to a hot start this spring as he looks to solidify his role with the Mets for the 2017 season.

Mets OF Jay Bruce went 2-for-3 with a double and his first home run of the spring during Wednesday's 8-7 win against the Red Sox in St. Lucie.

"I try not to worry about the actual results of spring training games," he said. "But that my work is kind of in line with where I feel like it needs to be this time of year. It's going well so far.

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Post Game Extra: 3/3/17 00:02:18
Gary Apple and Ron Darling break down the Mets? 11-3 victory over the Houston Astros.

The New York Mets scored 11 runs and recorded 17 hits in an 11-3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday in Port St. Lucie, Florida.


  • The Mets scored four runs in the third inning and five in the fifth inning to take a 9-0 lead. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jay Bruce hit RBI singles before Lucas Duda hit a two-run double to make it 4-0. In the fifth inning, Neil Walker hit a two-run home run to make it 6-0. 
  • Noah Syndergaard struck out one batter in two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut.
Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, TJ Rivera, Yoenis Cespedes
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Feb 22, 2017; Bruce (19) poses during photo day at Tradition Field. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY
Feb 22, 2017; Bruce (19) poses during photo day at Tradition Field. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY

Mets OF Jay Bruce is happy to be back with the Mets, and willing to do whatever is needed to help the team win, he recently told USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

"The whole time I just assumed I was going being traded,'' Bruce said about hearing countless offseason trade rumors. "Honestly, the way everything went down, I did not think I would be back. ... But, I'm definitely glad it's back here. Believe me, I'm very, very happy to be back.''

As it stands, Bruce will begin the season as New York's starting right fielder. However, he's told Terry Collins he's willing to do whatever is needed, including back up first base, to help cover any injuries the team may be forced to deal with...

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Why is Duda being overlooked? 00:04:39
Mets Talk Live discusses the impact Lucas Duda can make in the lineup this season if he is able to move forward from his back injury.

Mets 1B Lucas Duda said he felt good after swinging a bat Wednesday in St. Lucie, he told NJ.com's Matt Ehalt.

Duda, who was cleared by doctors earlier in the day, told reporters that he expects to make his Spring Training debut in the next few days. He took grounders Monday, but missed all three workouts this past weekend and after getting cortisone shots Friday in each hip.

"We'll take a few days now, instead of taking two weeks down the road," Duda explained, according to NJ.com. "We're just being cautious. In a couple days, I should be ready to go."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda
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The Mets considered trading OF Michael Conforto for Tigers OF J.D. Martinez before re-signing Yoenis CespedesJon Heyman of FanRag sports reported.

According to Heyman, the Mets decided that one year of Martinez, who will be a free agent after this season, in exchange for Conforto, wasn't enough.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone reported on Jan. 5 that the Mets had made calls to Detroit about the possibility of trading for Martinez before agreeing to a four-year deal with Cespedes...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz
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Alderson on d'Arnaud, Conforto 00:04:32
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson dishes on some hot topics including expectations for Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto.

With the return of Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce to New York's outfield this season, along with the presence of Curtis Granderson, 23-year old Michael Conforto has seemingly lost his spot in the starting lineup.

But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson does not believe it will discourage him from coming in and having a strong spring training, something that would make the decision about the outfield significantly more difficult for the GM.

"Well I think the important thing for Michael is to have a good spring, regardless of what happens at the end," Alderson told SNY's Gary Apple. "One of the things we focus on around here is process and not results. So I think Michael is committed to having a good spring, and you know, the way things are configured now, make it tough on us."

While Conforto will be attempting to prove to Alderson he belongs in the starting lineup this spring, he is not the only Met looking to show management of improvements made since last season...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • 3B David Wright will likely serve as a designated hitter initially during Grapefruit League games.
  • If RHP Jeurys Familia is suspended for his domestic violence incident, Collins is not worried about him keeping himself in shape during the time away from the team.
  • OF Jay Bruce will not take fly balls in center field during Spring Training.
  • The Mets have seen the potential of C Travis d'Arnaud, who is "extremely dangerous" when he's swigning well. "Everybody is allowed to have a bad year," Collins said about d'Arnaud's performance in 2016...
Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Rafael Montero, Travis d'Arnaud
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New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Thursday. Here's what we learned...

  • RHP Zack Wheeler, who has been dealing with elbow tenderness, felt good Thursday after playing catch and will hopefully throw from the mound on Friday.
  • RHP Noah Syndergaard will start on Opening Day, which is April 3 against the Braves at Citi Field.
  • Collins does not yet have the starting rotation mapped out for the entire first week of the regular season.

 

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets OF Jay Bruce walked in to the team's media room, sat down at the microphone, answered every question, said all the right things, smiled once or twice, got up and walked back in to the clubhouse. The end...

He was professional and courteous, complimented the roster and hyped the team's potential. But, he also spoke like someone dragged to a party he was not invited to attend.

"I'm here until I'm not," he said with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training.

It's a perfect response, because it's true for all of us. But the context of Bruce's short seven months in New York, it has a different meaning. It reads and sounded like someone biding his time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Mets OF Jay Bruce had a "pretty easy time" with the trade rumors during the offseason, he said Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

"I'm here until I'm not," Bruce explained, adding that he's been going through trade rumors for two years and didn't concern himself with them.

The Mets picked up Bruce's option after the season, but efforts to trade him failed. He was then told last month that the plan was for him to be the team's everyday right fielder.

Regarding the possibility of getting time at first base, Bruce said he hasn't been told anything yet but that if the Mets want him to, he'll "bust his ass" to make sure he does what he can at first base...

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

1) Travis d'Arnaud has a lot on shoulders as he works to improve his health, swing and throwing from behind the plate. "But, he's up for it," he knows he had a bad year in 2016 and he believes he can be better than that...

2) Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed have been told to approach spring training the same way they did last year, with Familia slotted as the closer and Reed as the team's set-up man, despite reports that Familia could be suspended to start the season...

3) David Wright is expected to start throwing a baseball later this week. There will be some activities this spring that Wright takes part in and some that he will not >> Read more.

4) Jay Bruce will get some time practicing at first base, mostly as a hedge against the potential of losing Lucas Duda's power to an injury during the season >> Read more

Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Travis d'Arnaud, Willie Reed
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Aug 3, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) bats against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Bruce would draw a walk in the at-bat. (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Aug 3, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) bats against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Bruce would draw a walk in the at-bat. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Mets OF Jay Bruce will get at least "some" time fielding ground balls at first base, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

According to Collins, because Lucas Duda is coming off an injury-shortened season, he'd like to see Bruce get exposure to first base, in the event Duda ends up injured again.

That said, Collins noted, "We're not pushing it on him."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday. Here's what we learned...

  • RHP Jeurys Familia, who is awaiting a potential suspension due to his domesitc violence incident, needs to get ready physically and show people he's sorry for his actions.
  • The team will put together a schedule for 3B David Wright, who is coming off neck surgery.
  • Wright may get grounders at first base at some point during Spring Training, but there's no plan to do so yet.
Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard
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Should Mets trade Lagares? 00:02:58
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis debate if the Mets should trade Juan Lagares.

Teams are interested in trading for Mets OF Juan Lagaresaccording to Mike Puma of the NY Post.

Lagares, 27, will make $4.5 million this season and is owed an additional $25 million through 2020, after which he can be a free agent.

He hit .239 with a .301 OBP and .380 SLG in 79 games last season while missing time due to a thumb injury that required surgery.

Lagares also suffered a mild right shoulder sprain diving for a ball in the Dominican Republic Winter League, the team confirmed to multiple reporters in November. Team doctors later examined him in New York and found no reason for concern. He is expected to be fully healed for the start of spring training, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Aug 15, 2016; Bruce against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2016; Bruce against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets recently informed Jay Bruce they intend to have him be their everyday right fielder to start the 2017 season, sources told the NY Post's Ken Davidoff.

GM Sandy Alderson had reportedly been shopping Bruce for multiple prospects in an effort to create more playing time for Michael Conforto and free up money to acquire a relief pitcher.

In a recent article for the NY Post, columnist Kevin Kernan argues in favor of keeping Bruce on the roster, despite his late-summer slump and what his presence might do to Conforto's playing time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Hot Stove talks Conforto in 2017 00:02:26
Mets Hot Stove discusses what outfielder Michael Conforto's role will be this season and if he'll possibly start the year in Triple-A.

Agent Scott Boras, who represents Michael Conforto, says the Mets outfielder deserves the chance to prove his ability in the major leagues next season. 

Despite the Mets reportedly trying to deal right fielder Jay Bruce this offseason, the team has informed Bruce that he will start as the team's right fielder, which could leave Conforto as the odd-man out. 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto
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Bruce to start in RF 00:05:47
Andy Martino, John Harper and Doug Williams debate the Mets' plan to start Jay Bruce in right field for the upcoming season.

The Mets have informed Jay Bruce that they intend on keeping him as their everyday right fielder to start the season, according to Ken Davidoff of the NY Post.

GM Sandy Alderson has reportedly been shopping Bruce around in an effort to free up money and receive a prospect or two in return.

If Bruce returns as the team's everyday right fielder, it is believed that Curtis Granderson will see action in center field and Yoenis Cespedes will remain in his more natural position in left field. Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto would then serve as bench players for Terry Collins to plug into his outfield rotation.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

According to countless reports since December, the Mets have been trying to trade Jay Bruce and his salary so they can free up money to add a relief pitcher.

Bruce is due $13 million next season, after which he can be a free agent.

In the event Bruce is traded, Yoenis Cespedes is expected to start most days in left field, with Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares splitting time across center and right field.

That said, it's quite clear the Mets totally misread the market for power hitters and outfielders this winter. Or, this is a risk they were willing to accept. In either case, position players are due to report to St. Lucie in less than three weeks and Bruce is still on the roster, which is why Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently told reporters it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders, including Bruce.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)
Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)

In a weekend article for the Daily News, columnist John Harper wonders if -- at this point -- the Mets better off keeping Jay Bruce, as opposed to trading him >> Read the full article here!

According to Harper, while former GMs Dan O'Dowd and Ned Colletti believe the Mets are better off keeping Bruce, former Mets GM Steve Phillips said he would simply give Bruce away because the money saved would allow the them to address the bullpen.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets left-handed hitting outfielders Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Mets left-handed hitting outfielders Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto (Credit: USA Today Sports)

During his lunch with reporters at Citi Field last week, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders in camp, including Jay Bruce.

"Obviously the market for certain players, certain free agents and therefore trade candidates has been slow at best, nonexistent at worst," Alderson said, according to NJ.com. "What we continue to do is reassess where we are and what our options are going forward, and those options range from doing something soon, which is possible or was possible, is possible, or doing nothing."

Alderson indicated it would be difficult to trade Curtis Granderson, instead of Bruce, because the Mets need Granderson to play center field.

In the event Bruce starts the season in a Mets uniform, he'll presumably remain a midseason trade candidate. However, for at least a couple of the month, Terry Collins may find himself with a jam-packed outfield. How might they juggle four every day players - Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Granderson and Bruce - for three spots? And, do it in a way that maximizes their production?

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

The Orioles and free-agent Mark Trumbo have reached agreement on a three-year, roughly $37 million deal, according to multiple reports on MLB Trade Rumors.

Despite acquiring Trumbo and OF Seth Smith, Baltimore would still like to add a left-handed-hitting outfielder, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. However, instead of someone like Bruce, they prefer a player better known for his fielding, such as free-agents Michael Bourn and Angel Pagan.

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays re-signed OF Jose Bautista to one-year, $18 million deal and the Phillies and free-agent OF Michael Saunders reportedly agreed to a one-year, $9 million.

CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury said the Phillies had shown interest in trading for Bruce, but were reluctant to deal multiple prospects to get him.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Latest on Jay Bruce 00:05:04
Mets Hot Stove analyzes the Mets decision to either trade Jay Bruce or keep him on the roster.

During his lunch with reporters at Citi Field on Thursday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders, including Jay Bruce.

"Obviously the market for certain players, certain free agents and therefore trade candidates has been slow at best, nonexistent at worst," Alderson said, according to NJ.com. "What we continue to do is reassess where we are and what our options are going forward, and those options range from doing something soon, which is possible or was possible, is possible, or doing nothing."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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The market for free agents has been "slow to nonexistent," meaning the Mets will reassess their options -- including keeping OF Jay Bruce -- GM Sandy Alderson told reporters Thursday at Citi Field.

Alderson said it would be hard to trade Curtis Granderson since he's also capable of playing center field.

Calling the current payroll level "tolerable," Alderson said the Mets could potentially add a free agent reliever without first trading an outfielder.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia
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Jun 17, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Mallex Smith (17) attempts to steal second base against New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 17, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Mallex Smith (17) attempts to steal second base against New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Braves have traded center fielder Mallex Smith and right-handed reliever Shae Simmons to the Mariners, who later flipped Smith in a deal to the Rays.

In late-December, major-league sources told FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that the Mets had been semi-engaged in trade talks to acquire a new center fielder, though the move would require first trading Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson >> Read more from Dec. 20.

According to Rosenthal, though the Mets had talked with the Pirates about Andrew McCutchen, there was no momentum toward making a deal...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto
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Will Jay Bruce ever be traded? 00:05:17
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses the trade market for Jay Bruce and which teams he would fit the best with.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is operating under a mandate not to spend on new players until he removes money currently on the payroll, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

While Alderson is notorious for wanting to begin the season with budget space to make in-season deals, which he has done the past two years, I hope this is not accurate considering the organization is coming off back-to-back postseason appearances.

In either case, Alderson obviously wants to trade Jay Bruce and his $13 million salary for an established, high-leverage, right-handed relief pitcher, then use his remaining money to sign a left-handed reliever and any pitcher willing to accept a minor-league deal.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Baltimore Orioles, Matthew Cerrone
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Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)
Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets have reportedly been trying to trade Jay Bruce for a relief pitcher or prospects, while freeing up salary to sign additional help for their bullpen.

In the last four months, the Orioles, Rangers, Blue Jays, Giants and other teams have all reportedly shown some level interest in trading for Bruce.

Here's how I would characterize each team as a possible trade partner...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Latest on Jay Bruce trade front 00:04:58
Baseball Night in New York discusses the Mets situation with Jay Bruce and where he could end up.

Latest Updates

Jan. 3 | 4:35PM

The Phillies are looking to add an outfielder and would be interested in acquiring Mets OF Jay Bruce if it meant not giving up significant prospects, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

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Jun 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach (35) throws a pitch during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach (35) throws a pitch during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are still open to dealing right-handed setup man Brad Brach, assuming it's 'the right deal,' according to Baltimore reporter Roch Kubatko.

The Mets expressed interest in acquiring Brach during the Baseball Winter Meetings in early December, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported at the time.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets OF Jay Bruce and free-agent LH reliever Jerry Blevins (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Mets OF Jay Bruce and free-agent LH reliever Jerry Blevins (Credit: USA Today Sports)

The MLB hot stove is essentially ice cold, especially within the outfield and bullpen markets, which is where the Mets are most interested in spending their time and money.

"I've never seen it like this," a veteran agent recently told the NY Post's Ken Davidoff regarding the lack of activity across all of baseball, not just the Mets.

In an order to end the "gridlock," Davidoff says team officials need to first return to work from the holidays, which will happen today. Then, as spring training nears, hopefully a handful of owners will see bargains, open their wallets and to start to spend.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Matthew Cerrone
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I expect Jeurys Familia will be suspended to start the season. If that's the case, Addison Reed will be the New York Mets' temporary closer. How the bullpen shakes out after that is still a bit of a mystery.

Will Jerry Blevins be back?

Blevins is reportedly seeking a three-year deal, probably worth $15-20 million. The Mets would love to have him back, and I'm sure he'd like to return, but there's no evidence that Sandy Alderson is interested in making this type of commitment to a relief pitcher, even Blevins.

Tags: Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Josh Smoker, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Free-agent sluggers Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Free-agent sluggers Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista (Credit: USA Today Sports)

The Indians will sign free-agent 1B-DH Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million deal, according to multiple reports, meaning the Orioles, Rangers and Blue Jays are likely still searching of a power-hitting corner outfielder.

There are multiple teams with at least some interest in trading for Mets OF Jay Bruce -- such as the Mariners, Cardinals and Giants. However, when all is said done, MLB insiders continue to tell me that Texas, Baltimore and Toronto will be Sandy Alderson's best trade target.

The return in a deal for Bruce is not going to be exciting, they say. Instead, I'm told to still expect a low-cost, low-ceiling reliever or one or two minor leaguers, with the acquiring team picking up the bulk of Bruce's $13 million salary.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets looking for CF help? 00:06:04
Baseball Night in New York examines the Mets' center field situation and whether or not the team should make a trade.

The Mets have had trade talks to acquire a center fielder, but prices are high and Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson need to be traded first, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote Dec. 19.

Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said on record that he doesn't see himself trading both outfielders this winter. However, last month, a Mets official told the NY Post's Kevin Kernan that it's possible...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec. 20 | 8:22AM

The Blue Jays remain in talks with the Mets about a possible deal involving Jay Bruce or Curtis Grandersonaccording to FoxSports.com's Jon Morosi.

The day the Mets announced the Yoenis Cespedes signing, a Mets official told Kevin Kernan of the NY Post that trading both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson was possible.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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