The Yankees are not expected to trade for Mets OF/1B Jay Bruce, who can be traded this month if he's placed on and clears waivers.
One Yankees official "shot down any notion" that the team would trade for Bruce, while speaking with Bob Klapisch of NJ.com, citing the fact that owner Hal Steinbrenner has frozen the payroll for the remainder of the season.
The Yankees are currently without first basemen Greg Bird and Tyler Austin, and have primarily been using Chase Headley at first base recently.
Bruce is eligible for free agency after the season and is owed roughly $5 million for the remainder of 2017. He is hitting .265 with a .329 OBP and .538 SLG with 29 HR, 20 doubles, and 75 RBI in 100 games this season.
The 30-year-old Bruce has an eight-team no-trade clause, which includes the Yankees, Rays, and Twins, a source recently told James Wagner of the New York Times. However, Bruce told reporters last week that he is open to anything the Mets may present him.
"I'm not in the bridge-burning business," Bruce told the NY Post this week. "I'm not in a position to shut out any opportunities or scenarios, so we'll see what happens. Free agency is a couple of months away and I've worked a long time to get to this point."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Monday that there's a strong possibility the team will trade Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and/or Asdrubal Cabrera this month after potentially passing them through waivers.
"We have probably more outfielders than we can adequately utilize," Alderson added, saying the team wants to find playing time for Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares, who should soon return from the disabled list.
Bruce has started the last two games at first base, and it's possible the Mets are waiting until they trade either Bruce or Granderson before promoting Triple-A Las Vegas 1B Dominic Smith.
If the Mets don't trade Bruce in August, they can extend a qualifying offer after the season. However, because of a change in the CBA, if Bruce declines, they will only been able to recoup a draft pick in the 70-to-80 range (not a sandwich pick after the first round).