If you’re a New York Mets fan and follow social media, you’ve likely seen the phrases #SignCes and #StayYo flood your stream over the past four months in a fan-driven effort to encourage Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets brass to come to a mutual long-term agreement. This passion and dedication paid off in late November, as the two sides agreed on a 4-year contract.
However, the total opposite has been true for Mets Right Fielder Jay Bruce. After an unsuccessful 2016 stint with the team, Mets fans have been adamant about ridding the team of Bruce. Despite this, the Mets front office picked up Bruce’s $13 Million option, guaranteeing the outfielder would play in the Majors in 2017. Nevertheless, fans of the blue and orange relentlessly demand that Jay Bruce be traded elsewhere before the commencement of the 2017 season. However, we cannot be so confident that trading Bruce away from the Mets is the absolute best thing for the team’s success.
The Case For Keeping Jay Bruce
- Jay Bruce is a 3x MLB All-Star and 2x Silver Slugger Award Winner
While with the Cincinnati Reds earlier in his career, Jay Bruce proved himself a force to be reckoned with at the plate. While he does not necessarily hit for average, Bruce has shown that he is a serious threat to go yard on any pitcher, smashing 25+ home runs in six of his nine Major League seasons.
- It Takes Longer for Some to Adapt to The Bright Lights of New York
As fans, it is easy to forget how significant one’s mentality is to their performance on the field. New York City is a very unforgiving environment, and it takes some players more time to adjust to the hustle-and-bustle attitude of New York. While Yoenis Cespedes was able to step in immediately like a superhero, many other players need more time to build chemistry with their teammates, their coaches, and the hometown fan base. This is especially true in New York, as we Mets fans love to boo anything that breathes. Even Hall of Famer Mike Piazza was booed when he first arrived at Shea Stadium!
- The Trade Market for Bruce is Very Poor
It almost seemed like a guarantee at first that Jay Bruce would be dealt to an American League team in need of a Designated Hitter, but things have drastically changed since November. After the Orioles re-signed Mark Trumbo and acquired Seth Smith, the Mariners traded for Jarrod Dyson, and the Blue Jays agreed to terms with Jose Bautista, there now seem to be no other candidates for the Mets to trade with, if they seek to gain back what Bruce is truly worth.
The Case Against Keeping Jay Bruce
- The Mets Outfield is Incredibly Crowded
It is not often that you see six outfielders on a Major League roster, but if Bruce remains a Met, then we very well may see this in Queens. Considering that the Mets will likely maintain Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto in the Majors, the team will have those two penciled in as outfielders alongside Bruce, with Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Juan Lagares in the mix as well. Since the Mets must invest in the young potential of Conforto and Nimmo, and Cespedes and Lagares remain under contract for several more years, there remain only two odd men out.
- Some Never Adapt to New York City
- The Mets Are Using Money That Could Be Used for Other Departments
Bruce’s $13 Million contract is by no means inexpensive, and the Mets could desperately use some or all of that money to address other needs. Specifically, the team’s bullpen could use the most help of all, while also upgrading the catcher position could benefit the Mets for this coming season.
Whether you say the Mets should or should not hold onto Jay Bruce for 2017, you’re right. However, Sandy Alderson must soon pick one side of the argument to put the team in the best possible position to win in 2017.