The Indians acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets on Wednesday night. Because the Indians agreed to take on all of Bruce’s remaining salary — about $5 million — the Mets didn’t get much in return, just a Single-A reliever with an ERA in the high fours.
An interesting note surfaced from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports: the Mets and Yankees couldn’t reach a deal because the Yankees were unwilling to take on the entirety of Bruce’s remaining salary. The Yankees offered “multiple prospects” and a portion — but not all — of Bruce’s salary, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
So, the Mets had a chance to get “multiple prospects” instead of a Single-A non-prospect reliever if the club was willing to eat a few million dollars. And the Yankees didn’t land Bruce because the club was unwilling to eat a few million dollars. Instead, the smaller-market Indians made a big offensive upgrade and make themselves more of a threat in the American League as the playoffs approach.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.