Published reports indicate the Mets are one of six teams interested in signing Jay Bruce. While Bruce said he’s open to returning to New York and playing first base, that’s probably a negotiating tactic. Why limit the field, which would decrease your value?
Most recently, Colorado and Seattle, have come into play, teams that offer great cities, but also complementary power in their lineups which would take pressure off Bruce of having to be the entire offense.
Plus, both teams are closer to reaching the playoffs than the Mets. If either, or any team, is willing to pay the $90 million over five years he is seeking – which the Mets are not – why would he return?
In coming back to the Mets, there’s potential of contending if the pitchers hold up physically. As of now, Jacob deGrom and possibly Noah Syndergaard, seem to be the only reliable starters.
The Mets, despite scuttling their offense for a handful of relievers last summer, are still searching for bullpen help. Whoever they sign will also have to play first. While Bruce said he’s willing, don’t forget he complained of back stiffness after a few games last year.
The Mets finished 22 games below .500 in 2017 and enter this season with a new manager and a myriad of questions and concerns, of which Bruce can only address one or two.
Unless the market completely dries up, or the Mets all of a sudden get giddy with their money, there’s little in the way of compelling reasons why Bruce would come back. It can’t be for sentimental reasons as he was booed after the coming here and traded away last year.
The best chance they had of bringing him back was to not trade him in the first place.