For the second straight year, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson did something in the trade deadline.
He acquired a hitter from another team to boost a struggling lineup. After getting Yoenis Cespedes last year, the Mets acquired Jay Bruce from the Reds for Dilson Herrera and minor leaguer left-hander Max Wotell Monday afternoon.
It was a move Alderson had to make in upgrading this scuffling lineup. The Mets offense is Wilmer Flores and Cespedes only.
In a perfect world, Jonathan Lucroy would have been acquired, but the Mets had nothing to offer for the Brewers, who wanted more than just Brandon Nimmo and Travis d’Arnaud.
Getting Bruce is better than nothing. His acquisition gives hope the Mets can contend for a playoff spot. His presence will make other hitters such as Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and d’Arnaud to do better with no pressure on them.
The Mets are banking Bruce has that same effect Cespedes had last year, which the Mets made it to the World Series last year when they acquired a bona fide hitter. With the new Met hitting 25 home runs and driving in 80 runs, it’s hard for them to not believe in him. This is why the deal itself is good for the Mets.
Bruce did not play last night in the Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Yankees at Citi Field. One has to figure he will make his debut tonight at Yankee Stadium.
Bruce’s presence will no doubt change the morale of the clubhouse. It will signal the belief the front office and ownership still believe in the Mets making the playoffs. It will give a boost to the players when it comes to getting a new lease on life.
The Mets have played like there has been pressure on them in the last few weeks. They have taken bad at-bats. They are grounding out or striking out. They have been awful with runners in scoring position by hitting .204 after their series with the Rockies.
Mets manager Terry Collins felt the need to give his players a pep talk after a frustrating 6-1 loss to the Rockies at Citi Field Friday night.
It didn’t do much for the Mets. Now, they have to hope Bruce’s appearance does the trick.
Yes, the Mets have many outfielders. Five to be exact.
But that is a good thing here. Competition breeds success. Collins will play whoever produces the most, so outfielders such as Alejandro De Aza, Conforto and Granderson will be pushed to start improving or they will be watching in the dugout.
Unless Cespedes and Bruce stink it up, they will be playing everyday. So it will come down to three outfielders playing for everyday playing time.
Again, it’s not a bad thing. The Mets’ objective is to make the playoffs, so players have to be pushed for the team to have success. This is another reason it’s a great trade.
Bruce also gives insurance to the Mets in case Cespedes leaves as a free agent this season by opting out.
Bruce had an underwhelming Mets debut last night. He struck out twice, and he finished the night with an 0-for-4 performance.
He gets a mulligan. It was his first game for his new team, so he likely was amped up to make an impression for the home fans. It’s human nature.
It may take awhile for him to settle in. It’s hard to believe he will play this bad based on the numbers on the back of his bubble-gum baseball card.
The new Met has two months to figure it out, so he has no room for error.
He knows his free pass will expire quickly. It might just end tonight knowing how antsy Mets fans are with the state of their team.
Whether Bruce succeeds or not, no one can fault Alderson for getting him. The Mets general manager had to get him, and he was so desperate that he gave away Dilson Herrera to get his guy.
Mets fans did not like giving up Herrera, but if the second baseman is so good, the Mets would have given him a chance to be the everyday second baseman this past offseason. They did not have any confidence in him, so they acquired Neil Walker from the Pirates to replace Daniel Murphy in the offseason.
Giving up Herrera was worth it to get their guy.
The fans that complained about giving up Herrera are likely the same folks that would complain about Alderson doing nothing. They can’t have it both ways.
No matter what Bruce does, no one can fault Alderson for not trying.