The trade deadline came and went last week with the Indians acquiring a bullpen arm in Joe Smith and many wondered if that was the only move they thought was necessary for the team’s postseason run.
The Indians acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the New York Mets on Wednesday night for minor leaguer Ryder Ryan.
The team is hopeful Bruce will join the team in Tampa for their series against the Rays but unknown what day he’ll arrive.
Ryan was the Indians 30th round pick in the 2016 draft and was 3-4 with six saves and a 4.79 ERA with the Lake County Captains this season.
With Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall both on the disabled list, the Indians needed some help in the outfield. If they hadn’t been injured, Indians team president Chris Antonetti admitted that they probably wouldn’t have made this deal for Bruce.
Bruce hit .258 with 29 home runs and 75 runs batted for the Mets this season but is currently in a 0-16 slump at the plate as he’s struggling with a stiff neck.
He’ll also help in the outfield as he’s one of the underrated defensive outfielders in the game.
The 30 year old is no stranger to the state of Ohio. Bruce was the Cincinnati Reds first round pick in the 2005 draft right our high school. He spent 9 major league seasons in Cincinnati before the Mets acquired him last season. Bruce hit 233 career home runs during his time in Cincinnati.
This is an excellent acquisition by the Indians. With Brantley going down with an ankle sprain on Tuesday, the outfield was Austin Jackson, Bradley Zimmer, Abraham Almonte and no offense to those guys but an upgrade or addition was needed there.
Now many are wondering what will happen once everyone is healthy. I wouldn’t focus on that now just focus on how much of an impact Bruce can make on both offense and defense.
This gives Brantley and Chisenhall more time to just focus on getting healthy and not trying to rush back.
Financially, the Indians picked up the remaining $3.7 million Bruce is due this season, something the New York Yankees wouldn’t do as they were also in talks to acquire him.
Bruce is a free agent this upcoming offseason and with the Indians only giving up a low prospect, it’s nothing to panic about if he leaves because we didn’t give up anything significant for a 3 month rental.