According to Newsday, some in the organization are leaning toward picking up Cabrera’s $8.5 million option for next season. The Mets are also open to the idea of re-signing Bruce, the report said.
The Mets and Cabrera have had a bumpy relationship this season. The 31-year-old, two-time All-Star requested a trade in June after the team moved him from shortstop to second base. Cabrera also made it clear he was frustrated that the Mets would not commit to picking up his option. He, however, later walked back his comments.
When second baseman Neil Walker returned from injury in late July, Cabrera switched positions again, this time to third base. After unsuccessfully trying to trade him, it now appears the Mets can picture a scenario in which Cabrera is their third baseman in 2018.
Amed Rosario, the franchise’s top prospect who was called up this week, figures to be New York’s Opening Day shortstop next season, and third baseman David Wright hasn’t played since May 2016. Jose Reyes, who has split time between third base and shortstop the past two seasons, will become a free agent after this season.
Cabrera said he’s steadily growing more comfortable at third base.
“It’s much quicker,” he told Newsday. “You see the game from a different angle. But with time, you start to feel better.
“If they take the option, then it’s their choice,” he added.
If the Mets declined to pick up Cabrera’s option, they would still owe him a $2 million buyout.
In 82 games this season, the switch-hitting Cabrera is batting .262 with nine homers and 32 RBIs.
The Mets had been trying to deal Bruce since shortly after they picked up his option last season, but they have not been able to find a trade partner for him, either.
After a disappointing couple of months after being acquired from Cincinnati last season, Bruce has settled in nicely with the Mets this year, hitting .265 with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs. He is currently third in the National League in homers and is on pace to set career highs in home runs and RBIs.
General manager Sandy Alderson said this week there is a growing belief within the organization that Michael Conforto can man center field, possibly clearing the way for Bruce to play right field.
There have been no extension talks to date between Bruce, 30, and the Mets, Newsday reported.
At the very least, the Mets could make Bruce a qualifying offer, estimated to be around $18 million, making them eligible to receive a first-round draft pick if he signs elsewhere.