NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets spent last winter and much of last season trying to trade Jay Bruce, eventually sending the slugger to Cleveland.
Now they are eyeing a reunion with the free agent outfielder.
According to WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, also of FanRag Sports, New York is one of at least four teams interested in Bruce. The Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jay and Seattle Mariners are also in the mix.
Bruce, 30, is reportedly seeking a five-year deal worth $80 million to $90 million. The New York Post reported earlier this month that the Mets are open to signing him to a three-year contract.
The Mets acquired Bruce from the Reds in a midseason trade in 2016, but he initially struggled in the Big Apple, batting .219 with eight home runs in 50 games. New York picked up Bruce’s $13 million option last offseason but immediately began to shop him around. With the Mets unable to strike a deal, Bruce returned to the team and enjoyed a strong season, batting .256 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs in 103 games.
Out of contention, the Mets finally shipped Bruce to the Indians in August for minor league relief pitcher Ryder Ryan. In 43 games with Cleveland, Bruce hit .248 with seven homers.
The Mets are looking for another outfielder to start alongside Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto. They also have Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo on the roster.