The New York Mets have made no secret of their desire to upgrade over Dominic Smith at first base. While the team has explored signing a primary first baseman, such as Carlos Santana, the Mets’ preference would be to sign a corner outfielder with the ability to play first. One guy who would definitely fit the bill is former Met Jay Bruce, who the team traded to Cleveland in August for a low level prospect and salary relief. The Mets have always been open to bringing back Bruce, but it has been unclear if the interest was mutual. Newsday’s Marc Carig has learned that both sides are, in fact, open to a deal for 2018.
Bruce, who batted .254 with 36 homers and 101 RBI’s for the Mets and Indians last season, has been seeking a multi-year deal this winter. There has always been skepticism about whether or not Bruce would seriously consider a return to Flushing, with sources telling MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone that he (Bruce) would prefer to sign with a team in California or Texas. Bruce did, however, build a positive rapport with new Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway during his time in Cleveland. That relationship could help persuade Bruce to give the Mets another chance, and it also helps that he has shown the ability to produce in the New York market. It isn’t clear how serious each side’s interest is, but this story is something to file away as the winter continues.