Mets’ Shouldn’t Be Eager To Deal Bruce

It’s one thing for the Mets to force-feed first base to Jay Bruce. It’s another when the players wants to play the position. Bruce is a smart guy. He knows when Lucas Duda back barks that is an opportunity for him to get in the lineup.

BRUCE: Has value. (AP)

BRUCE: Has value. (AP)

Both Bruce and Neil Walker took grounders at first base prior to today’s 5-2 victory over Detroit, but there are no immediate plans to get him in a game. There should be because the Mets shouldn’t want to be forced to play Bruce at first with him not getting time there.

“I am going to work at it,” Bruce told reporters. “I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t to do it, so I am going to work at it.”

The Mets have a fluid situation in their outfield and at first base. Yoenis Cespedes ($27.5 million), Curtis Granderson ($15.1 million) and Bruce ($13 million). Their salaries will give them most of the playing time, but Michael Conforto is also pushing for playing time.

But, if Conforto plays, that would leave Bruce needing to play first when Duda’s back acts up. A stress fracture kept him out for most of last season and his health will always be an issue. And, for all that has been reported of GM Sandy Alderson’s intent to deal Bruce, he shouldn’t act too hastily because of Duda’s fragility.

Trading Bruce and then losing Duda to injury could be disastrous, especially with the health issues with David Wright and Walker. Duda’s back places a premium on Bruce’s value. The Mets are fortunate to have the resources if Duda misses significant time.

Manager Terry Collins liked Bruce’s workout: “It looks like he’s got the athleticism. He’s got the hands. He’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce appears up for the move and he’s hopeful of redeeming himself for last season. The Mets shouldn’t be too eager to let him get away.

4 thoughts on “Mets’ Shouldn’t Be Eager To Deal Bruce

  1. I couldn’t agree more regarding being too hasty with Bruce. I’m not sold Duda is even 90% healthy and wouldn’t be surprised he spends significant time on the DL. Sandy would look foolish if he were to move Bruce only to lose Duda or one of the other ailing backs in the line up. Conforto is trying to play his way into the lineup but Terry isn’t sitting Bruce and that large contract. Something tells me by the end of March all of this will some how work itself out.

  2. Wait a second gentlemen. You speak as if Bruce can play first base. Why. Further, why would you ever wish to pay Bruce $’s for a back-up?

    Pawn him off on someone else. As far as I’m concerned his failure last year was I all I needed to see.

    • Ok, so Bruce sucked for the Mets last year when they got him and he may not be keith Hernandez at first. But maybe, just maybe, he and Conforto can be respectable at the position and we can find a way to keep Bruce’s 30 homers – he’s got to be better than last year indicated. Everyone wants to put Flores at first? He’s far from the steadied glove over there! I say let’s give Bruce another chance and let Conforto bully his way into the line up.