Free-agent OF-1B Jay Bruce is now seeking a four-year deal, despite starting this offseason looking for five or more, a source recently told Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert.
The Giants and Mets reportedly have interest in Bruce, but only if he's willing to accept a three-year deal. The Mets met with Bruce's agent during last week's MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, but they did not make him an offer, according to the NY Post's Mike Puma.
In addition to the Giants and Mets, the Rockies, Blue Jays, and Mariners also have been linked to Bruce during November and December, according to reports on MLB Trade Rumors.
In October, team officials told Puma that they believe Bruce is capable of being both an everyday right fielder and part-time or backup first baseman, which is specifically the type of versatile outfielder Sandy Alderson told reporters he is aiming to acquire this winter.
I still see the Rockies as the best landing spot for Bruce, who seemed to be eyeing Texas or California when talking about free agency last summer. Similar to the Mets, the Rockies are interested in a first base-outfield type, like Bruce, who (for Colorado) could float between both positions and allow Ian Desmond to play outfield.
There are enough teams interested in Bruce that he should be able to get at least a three-year deal worth $12-15 million per season. I understand he wants more, but he's not going to get it in a world where Carlos Santana only gets a three-year deal and so few teams are willing to overpay in years (instead of dollars) to add power.
As I've said before, Bruce will always be a streaky, one-dimensional player. That said, he clearly provides an important level of experience and leadership on a roster The Reds praised him for these traits, the Mets also praised him for them, and the Indians praised him for this as well, despite only having him in their uniform for a few months. The Mets sorely missed this type of presence toward the end of last season and they're currently set up to miss it again 2018.
If Bruce can play a bunch of games at first, a bunch of games in right field, hit 25 home runs, continue performing and enjoying his time in New York and again be a model citizen and veteran leader, I'm fine with the Mets bringing him back, especially if it means giving him, say, three years and $50 million instead of five years and $60 million.