In case you missed it, this past weekend...
CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury said the Phillies had shown interest in trading for Mets OF Jay Bruce, but were reluctant to deal multiple prospects to get him.
Lastly, while the Cardinals are looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, they want him to play all three outfield positions and upgrade their defense, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
The Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles should end up being Sandy Alderson's best option for dealing Bruce, MLB insiders had been predicting since late December. However, with Toronto bringing back Bautista, it would seem they'll be out on Bruce, which would leave Baltimore and Texas. I also think the Giants still make sense, but only if the Mets pick up the bulk of Bruce's $13 million salary.
The O's and Rangers are both searching for another hitter, either to play outfield or DH. Bruce is a fit. However, Mark Trumbo, Pedro Alvarez, Chris Carter and Mike Napoli are still available on the free-agent market and increasingly likely to accept a short-term deal.
The Orioles and Rangers have reportedly expressed interest in all of above, but so have the Giants, Marlins, Rockies, Indians and A's. So, again, I think Alderson has to wait a bit before Bruce becomes a better bet than what is left on the free-agent market...
Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
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.
Previous Updates and Backstory...
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."