My Thoughts on Jay Bruce to Cleveland

By Scott Benzing
Aug. 11, 2017

On Wednesday, the Cleveland Indians made a waiver-wire trade, acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the New York Mets in exchange for pitching prospect Ryder Ryan.

The Indians needed an outfielder after placing star Michael Brantley on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, and found Bruce to be the perfect fit. It is no question that the Indians will make the playoffs and run away with the AL Central, but in order to get back to the World Series their bats need to pick up and fast.

With infielders Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion all having down years, the Tribe could use a bat that already has 29 home runs. Bruce will likely slot in 5th or 6th in the order behind Encarnacion or Carlos Santana.

The Mets have no use for Bruce. A non-contender having a pending free agent cleanup hitter is about as useful as having a screen door on a submarine. It only makes sense that they try and get any benefit from Bruce, and Ryder Ryan was probably the best they could get.

The Mets are not thinking about this year or next, and most Met fans will say they're not thinking at all, but that is for another blog. By trading Bruce, they have an open roster spot that they are using to call up top prospect first baseman Dominic Smith. Smith won't miracle this team into a playoff spot this year, but if their money is spent in the right places in the offseason, they can compete in 2018.

It is also interesting that the Mets have traded Lucas Duda to the Rays, Addison Reed to the Red Sox, and Bruce to the Indians. All three teams are fighting for their division and the wild card, as are the Mets crosstown rival Yankees. The Mets probably could have gotten better prospect from the Yankees, but would rather take lesser deals than help them.

Ah, stupidity at it's finest.

Meanwhile, for the Indians, this move is to bolster the October playoff roster. The AL Central, barring a monumental collapse, is the Indians for the taking. Looking at the standings, 3.5 games should not be a comfortable lead, but sticking to reality, neither the Twins nor the Royals are good enough to take the division from them.

With the addition of Bruce, the Indians should become AL favorites with a projected lineup of:

Lindor SS

Brantley LF

Ramirez 3B

Encarnacion DH

Bruce RF

Kipnis 2B

Santana 1B

Gomes C

Jackson CF

In addition to a very solid lineup, they have starters Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in the bullpen.

The Indians made this trade with one goal in mind, making the World Series and with the addition of Bruce they should do just that.