Reds OF Jay Bruce is not in Cincinnati's starting lineup Friday (July 31, 3:20 pm).
However, as MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone pointed out on Twitter, this doesn't necessarily mean he's being traded (July 31, 3:25 pm).
"This is what smart teams do, just in case a deal is close or goes down," he said. "The Rockies were criticized recently for not doing this with Troy Tulowitzki, not to mention the Mets with Wilmer Flores."
Talks between the Mets and Reds about Bruce and RHP Zack Wheeler are losing momentum, with the Reds giving second thoughts to what the Mets are offering (July 31, 12:42 pm). At the same time, the Mets have concerns about Bruce's inconsistent production at the plate (July 12:46 pm).
The deal may be stalled as the Reds investigate medical records for Wheeler (July 31, 10:39 am).
The Mets and Reds had been working on the deal through much of last night (July 31, 8:34 a.m.).
The two sides discussed a trade for Bruce and Wheeler last week, but talks did not gain traction (July 25, 2015). Nevertheless, the Mets continued to scout Bruce throughout the week, a source said (July 26, 2016).
Reds fan Brandon Kraeling, who is the lead writer of SBNation's RedsReporter.com, told MetsBlog.com he hopes to see the Reds bring back at least two impact players in a deal for Bruce
"I don't think the should trade him," Kraeling said. "He’s still cheap for the next few seasons, and could still be a force if the Reds decide to contend in the next few years. He has a team friendly contract, so any team acquiring him would have to blow the Reds away."
Bruce is due roughly $5-6 million between now and the end of the season. He will earn $12.5 million in 2016. He can earn $13 million in 2017 or be made a free agent with a $1 million buyout. The Mets are not on his eight-team, no-trade list.
The Angels, Royals and Orioles have also reportedly shown interest in Bruce, according to updates by MLB Trade Rumors.