Mets Acquire Jay Bruce And Jon Niese Before The Trade Deadline
Today the Mets traded for the big bat of Jay Bruce as well as a familiar face in Jonathan Niese to replace the injured Matt Harvey in the starting rotation. I like both of these moves for the Mets going forward, but there are slight negatives to each deal as well.
It's no secret that the Mets offense has been lacking for a majority of the season. This is in large part due to injuries that have plagued many players including David Wright, Lucas Duda, Travis d'Arnaud, and more recently Yoenis Céspedes as well as José Reyes. The team average with runners in scoring position is an abysmal .206, which lands them dead last among the 30 MLB teams. Jay Bruce not only leads the National League with 80 RBIs, but is also batting a phenomenal .360 with runners in scoring position this season. He's a young 29-years-old and definitely has enough pop to go yabo over the deep walls of Citi Field. Bruce is a great addition to this lineup, and hopefully he can spark the Mets bats similar to that of the addition of Céspedes last year.
With all that being said, to have the same impact as Yoenis Céspedes from a year ago is nearly impossible. Céspedes had one of the best hitting months of baseball ever recorded last season and literally carried the Mets on his back in so many of those games down the stretch. It's unreasonable to think Bruce will do the same thing, but he certainly can spark the runs to a certain extent and help with timely hitting. He's known to be a streaky player throughout his career, so let's hope he stays hot with the change of scenery to a team competing for a playoff spot. Let's also hope that Terry Collins knows how to handle the surplus of corner outfielders he now has with Bruce, Conforto, Granderson and Céspedes. Conforto will have to take a back seat to the veterans considering he's not hitting at all right now. The Mets dealt 2B Dilson Herrera and LHP Max Wotell in the trade. I'm definitely ok with the Mets parting ways with these two in return for Bruce. Herrera was certainly regarded as a high prospect for the Mets, but during the times he was called up I didn't see any over-the-top talent.
Now onto Jon Niese. I have always gone back and forth with Jon Niese on whether or not I liked him as a Mets starter. He's always just been too inconsistent for me. One week he'll come out and get 20 ground ball outs and the win, and the next week he'll be pulled in the 3rd inning after getting shelled for 7 runs.
However, in this scenario I think it's a good move for the Mets considering Logan Verrett has been HORRIBLE as a starter since taking over for Matt Harvey. Niese can certainly fill the void for this season until Zack Wheeler (hopefully) returns. If Wheeler doesn't come back I still trust the veteran Niese will be fired up and motivated to pitch well. This being because he endured so many awful seasons as a Met starter from '08-'14 only to be moved to the bullpen last year right before playoffs and then get traded after the season. He definitely has something to prove to himself and this organization. The Mets gave up Antonio Bastardo who they originally received along with Neil Walker for Jonathan Niese this past off-season.
Overall, good trades for the Mets today. Jay Bruce won't have the insane August Yoenis Céspedes had last year, but he'll drive in runs and hopefully spark the rest of the offense along the way without causing controversy in the overpopulated Mets outfield. Jon Niese will provide an established starter to the rotation so the Mets don't automatically lose every 5th game like they were doing with Verrett pitching. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out this month, but I've got to believe they'll be right in the hunt when the time comes. LGM.