The New York Mets are on the verge of pulling off the first big deal Monday at Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline. There is a bit of a medical concern with one of New York's minor leaguers included that is holding up the deal, but the Mets are working to bring Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce to the Big Apple! Wait, what? The Boss? No, not Bruce Springsteen, every sportswriter's favorite hit machine. It's outfielder Jay Bruce, from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Mets reportedly agreed to swap longtime outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo, plus two other low-level minor leaguers, for Bruuuuuuuuuuce. While it's a fun mental exercise to imagine Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes playing defense in the same outfield, it's even more fun to imagine the Mets driving down Thunder Road and improving their offense by adding the Boss.
"NL Champs like us, baby we were born to (score) ruuuuuuuuuuns!"
The prophecy of Bruce Springsteen coming to play for the Mets was foretold, of course, in the "Glory Days" video, where Springsteen, portraying
Adam Sandler an everyday working man eating his lunch, grips an orange like Doc Gooden might grip a Lord Charles, wistfully thinking about what might have been had he been able to continue the baseball career of his youth.
Instead, later on, he gives up batting practice bombs to his (son? nephew? actor child?) because he presumably had blown out his arm (off-screen) some years ago, leading to all of the regret expressed in "Glory Days."
So anyway, Jay Bruce! The 29-year-old has got 25 home runs and 80 RBIs for the Reds, which is pretty good considering they're 21st as a team in runs scored. RBIs not being indicative of future performance, however, so just toss them in the circular file. Bruce does have an .875 OPS, which ranks 32nd in MLB and will help the Mets improve their 28th-ranked offense. There is one caveat with Bruce—his recent injury-riddled past.
His contract includes a 2017 team option for $13 million, which means he can barely afford to buy in Brooklyn. But he should rent anyway, because the buyout is just $1 million, or the Mets could flip him this winter if they decide instead to keep Cespedes long term.
The best thing about Bruce is still his name: "Bruuuuuuuuuce" chants at Citi Field. If he stinks and the chants turn to "Booooooooo!" nobody will be able to tell the difference. Win-win for Team NyMets.