The Mets were in deep discussions with the Yankees regarding OF Jay Bruce before dealing Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for pitching prospect Ryder Ryan, according to multiple reports.
As part of the deal, Cleveland will pay the rest of the money owed to Bruce this season.
The Yankees were on Bruce's no-trade list, but he was reportedly willing to waive it if a deal was reached.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Yankees offered multiple prospects in an attempt to land Bruce, but the Mets preferred Cleveland's deal. FanRag's Jon Heyman reports the Yankees were in talks to acquire the outfielder but wanted the Mets to pay some of Bruce's contract.
The prospects the Yankees offered the Mets were ones "other teams asked about" prior to the trade deadline, according to Marc Carig of Newsday. Fox's Ken Rosenthal confirmed Newsday's report, saying the Mets "preferred the savings to prospects" the Yankees offered. Cleveland will take on the final $3.7 million owed to Bruce, while the Yankees had offered to pay $1 million.
The Yankees also attempted to acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets before he was traded to the Rays, but Sherman reported it was the Yankees' belief that the Rays offered a better return.
The Mets traded Addison Reed to the Red Sox on Aug. 1 in exchange for three pitching prospects, with Boston assuming the remainder of Reed's salary. However, it was reported at the time that the Red Sox insisted on paying Reed's salary instead of sending the Mets what they viewed as more valuable prospects.
Bruce, who was acquired by the Mets last year in a trade with the Reds, hit a team-leading 29 home runs with 75 RBI in 103 games this season. During his year-and-half tenure with the Mets, Bruce hit .247 with 37 home runs.