The Phillies came closest to acquiring Mets outfielder Jay Bruce in a trade this winter, according to Marc Carig of Newsday. Obiously, no deal materialized, leading the Mets to keep Bruce through the offseason.
Philadelphia’s strong pursuit comes at least as a mild surprise, as the Orioles were consistently mentioned as a suitor for Bruce and the Giants were known to be discussing the possibility as well. Philadelphia decided to sign free agent Michael Saunders instead of pulling the trigger on a Bruce deal.
Bruce, 30, has posted a strong .309/.387/.673 line with six homers thus far for the Mets, who kept him despite re-signing Yoenis Cespedes and having Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto as outfield options on the roster. Bruce is a free agent at season’s end, and could find himself drawing interest from the Phils again as a candidate for a long-term deal.