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.
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.
The Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles were expected to be Sandy Alderson's best option for dealing Bruce, MLB insiders predicted late December. However, with Toronto bringing back Bautista, and the O's trading for Seth Smith and re-signing Trumbo, it would seem they're both out on Bruce, which would leave Texas as the remaining best-possible option. I also think the Giants still make sense, but only if the Mets pick up the bulk of Bruce's $13 million salary.
The way it stands, in exchange for Bruce, the Mets can expect a low-cost, low-ceiling reliever or one or two minor leaguers if the acquiring team is picking up the bulk of Bruce's $13 million salary. But, so far, Sandy is holding firm. At this point, though I think there's a 5% chance Bruce is on the Mets in April, I'd say there's a 50% chance he's with them in Spring Training.
Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
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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 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 they need Granderson to play center field.
"There are a variety of reasons for considering holding on to the players," Alderson continued. "One of which is that the players who have been mentioned as possible trade candidates by us are good players, and as an option we are considering holding on to what we have."
"We have some flexibility and a number of players coming off of injury, so to the extent we carry an extra outfielder or extra infielder into spring training isn't such a bad idea."
In December, Mets GM Sandy Alderson repeatedly told reporters he was not yet willing to pay part of Bruce's salary to help deal his left-handed hitting outfielder. However, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, Alderson may have to do so if he wants to trade Bruce before spring training.
"I don't expect anything from anybody. It's a business and they should do what's best for the team," Bruce told Ehalt. "I would love to come back, start fresh and have a full season in New York. I think it would be a blast."