The Reds would be amenable to a deal with the Mets for outfielder Jay Bruce if the return was fronted by righty Zack Wheeler, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. We heard yesterday that Cincinnati has shown previous interest in the still-recovering recent Tommy John patient (via Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com).
Of course, it’s not clear whether other pieces would need to be involved from either team’s end to make a deal happen. And the Mets’ level of interest in Bruce is not known. The team is said to have preferred a slugging outfielder capable of playing center, where Bruce has not lined up since his rookie year.
But we do know that Wheeler had been ticketed to become the key piece of a deal to add Carlos Gomez, before that deal derailed, so it does stand to reason that New York would consider including him to grab Bruce. While he lacks Gomez’s five-tool superstar upside, and isn’t a stellar on-base threat, Bruce is actually a fairly well-rounded player himself. Since suffering through a rough 2014, he’s back on pace for a 4+ WAR season with big power numbers, decent speed, and sturdy defense.