The Mets have acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the Reds, the team announced on Monday.
Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first-round pick in 2011, will not head to Cincinnati as previously reported. Cincinnati will instead receive Dilson Herrera and 19-year-old Max Wotell.
ESPN’s Buster Olney first reported that the deal was close.
Bruce, 29, has a $13 million club option for next year, and will hit the free-agent market in 2018 should New York pick it up. Cincinnati missed out on the opportunity to get something in return for the expiring Aroldis Chapman at the deadline last year, but this summer the club managed to salvage something for Bruce, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Reds.
New York is in desperate need of offensive help, as the team ranks 28th in runs scored and 30th in batting average. Aside from Yoenis Cespedes, the outfield has been a weak unit, with Curtis Granderson in a slump and Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and Alejandro De Aza struggling at the plate this season.
The team initially planned on trading Nimmo before a medical holdup.
Bruce, a three-time All-Star, has seen an uptick in production this year after a couple of down seasons, batting .265 with 25 home runs and a league-leading 80 RBIs so far in 2016. He’s well on the way to his best campaign since 2013, when he finished 10th in MVP voting, and has a shot to set career-highs in nearly every category.
– Kenny Ducey