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Report: Mets, Jay Bruce interested in a reunion

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets and free agent 1B/OF Jay Bruce have interest in a reunion.

The Mets don’t seem all that comfortable going into 2018 with Dominic Smith at first base, questioning his conditioning after he gained weight towards the end of the season. The Mets’ corner outfield is already spoken for with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto, though Conforto could conceivably move to center field full-time.

Bruce, 30, hit a combined .254/.324/.508 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI in 617 plate appearances between the Mets and Indians last season.

The Mets have nearly $121 million committed for the 2018 season already before accounting for a handful of arbitration-eligible players. It would seem the need to upgrade at second or third base would be a more pressing issue than adding a 1B/OF type like Bruce. If the Mets are truly uncomfortable with Smith as a full-time option, they could presumably wait until deeper in the offseason and see who is left among the likes of Yonder Alonso, John Jaso, Cameron Maybin, Jon Jay, Austin Jackson, and Melvin Upton, Jr.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.