The emergence of Brandon Nimmo has left Jay Bruce as something of an odd man out with the Mets, opines Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman notes that the Mets’ outfield in 2019 and beyond is likely to include Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, making it more difficult for Bruce to secure regular at-bats (barring a move to first base, which would come at the expense of the younger Dominic Smith). According to Sherman, Bruce can block trades to the Orioles, Mariners, Blue Jays, Rays and Athletics, but he can be shipped anywhere else without his consent. Sherman runs through some speculative possibilities in which Bruce, who is owed $28MM from 2019-20, could be swapped out for a player earning at a comparable rate. Of course, it’s also worth noting that Nimmo’s bat has declined in each month of the season since a torrid start, while Cespedes and (to a lesser extent) Conforto come with injury question marks.
A few more notes out of the NL East…
- David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that Braves righty Mike Soroka still hasn’t begun a throwing program as he continues rehabbing his right shoulder, which makes it increasingly unlikely that he’ll pitch again in 2018. If that’s the case, O’Brien notes that the organization could have Soroka pitch in the instructional league this fall before shutting him down for the winter in hopes of a healthier 2019 campaign. Soroka, who turned 21 last week, was impressive despite his young age in five starts earlier this season before shoulder woes landed him on the disabled list.
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently wrote that any of Derek Dietrich, Dan Straily or Starlin Castro could yet be trade candidates for the Marlins in the month of August. Castro didn’t draw any serious interest prior to the non-waiver deadline, Jackson notes, but the Cubs and Indians checked in on Dietrich while the Athletics chatted with the Marlins about a potential re-acquisition of Straily (though those talks came prior to Oakland’s trade for Mike Fiers). Jackson notes that the Fish would want quality prospects in return for Straily if they moved him, as he’s controlled beyond the 2018 season. That seems like a tough sell, given Straily’s diminished strikeout, chase and swinging-strike rates as well as his drastic increase in walk rate.