3RD UPDATE: Look away Mets fans, as it appears that a deal for Bruce may not happen. The Reds are having second thoughts about the package that is one the table, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
2ND UPDATE: The Mets worked into the late night on a trade to acquire Bruce and many in the industry say a deal will get done, per Ken Rosenthal to Fox Sports.
UPDATE: Per Chris Cotillo, these are the teams Bruce could block a trade to. The Mets are not on the list.
Jay Bruce no-trade list, per source: NYY, BOS, OAK, TB, MIA, MIN, TOR, ARZ. Can not block deal to Mets.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2015
ORIGINAL: New York is still in pursuit of another bat after failing to add Carlos Gomez late Wednesday night. Jay Bruce might be a possible option for the Mets, and according to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Reds are willing to trade Bruce to New York in exchange for Zack Wheeler.
As of early Wednesday evening, it appeared the Mets had completed a deal that would have sent Wilmer Flores and Wheeler to Milwaukee in exchange for Gomez. However, the Mets reportedly were concerned with the status of Gomez's hip and as a result a deal was never made.
After dealing Johnny Cueto, the Reds are expected to make several more trades before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline. Aroldis Chapman, Mike Leake, Todd Frazier, and Bruce are among the Reds that could be moved.
Even after acquiring Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, the Mets want to add another offensive threat and Bruce might prove to be that in the outfield. Through 96 games with Cincinnati this season, Bruce is batting .257/.341/.486 to complement 17 home runs and 56 RBIs. Bruce would give the Mets power from the left side of the plate despite posting a .217/.281/.373 batting line through 137 games in 2014.
Since the Mets appeared open to sending Wheeler to Milwaukee, the club likely would not have an issue dealing him to Cincinnati in exchange for more offense. Wheeler is coming off of Tommy John surgery but posted a 3.54 ERA and 3.55 FIP over 185.1 games and 32 starts with the Mets last season. Interested clubs do not appear bothered by the fact that Wheeler is currently on the disabled list.
The Mets might explore other options before considering a trade for Bruce. But if the Reds remain interested in Wheeler, a deal could be realistic in the hours leading up to the deadline.