With Michael Brantley heading to the disabled list today with a sprained right ankle, the Indians were not content with what they had in the outfield. They swiftly made the move to get Jay Bruce from the Mets in exchange for right-handed reliever Ryder Ryan. The Yankees, according to Jon Heyman, were in on Bruce, but wanted the Mets to pay some of the remaining $5 million owed to Bruce. Therefore, the Mets went with the Indians, who were willing to eat up the rest of the money Bruce is owed.
Bruce, 30, is a free agent after this year so it did not really make sense for the Mets to hang onto him then not get anything for him if he walked. It has been a nice season for the three-time All-Star, who is slashing .256/.321/.520 with 29 home runs and 75 RBI’s in 102 games played. Bruce has been able to swing a more consistent bat this year, which is evident in him upping his on-base percentage ever so slightly and setting a career-high in OPS at .847.
Ryan, 22, was a 30th round pick by the Indians out of the University of North Carolina in the 2016 MLB Draft and is not doing so great in Low-A. In 33 games out of the pen for the Lake County Captains , Ryan went 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA and has 47 strikeouts to 17 walks in 41 1/3 innings pitched. The UNC product has been hit around a lot, allowing opponents to hit .267 against him and surprisingly has struggled more against righties (.297) than he has with lefties (.230). He has saved six games this season, but has been mainly used in the seventh and eighth inning.
The Indians made a solid trade to sure up what has become a thin outfield that lacked a lot of production overall, especially in the power category. Bruce immediately solves this problem. This is just a flat out salary dump by the Mets, who didn’t get anything glamorous for Jay Bruce and should not have expected to for the rental he is.