Mets are expected to trade for Reds outfielder Jay Bruce

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After reversing course on a trade for Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez the Mets turned their attention to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the “expectation among many in industry is that deal will happen.”

To get Gomez the Mets were set to give up right-hander Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. No word yet on the exact return needed to snag the 28-year-old Bruce, but Rosenthal wrote yesterday that the Reds were willing to take Wheeler for him.

Bruce and Gomez are vastly different players, but they’re both signed for next season and clearly the Mets wanted any outfield pickup to be more than just a two-month rental. Bruce struggled last season, but has returned to his usual production this year by hitting .257 with 17 homers and an .827 OPS in 97 games to match his .826 OPS from 2010-2013.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.