New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is currently in a tie for the second most home runs in the league, with six home runs. The 30-year-old, who once lost a ball in the lights at Citizens Bank Park during the 2010 NLDS, has hit four of his six home runs against the Phillies, two of which came in last night's 5-4 Mets win.
Bruce, who is currently slashing .309/.387/.673, was one of the more available outfielders in the league this past offseason. According to Marc Craig of Newsday, the Phillies were the team that came closest to landing the outfielder:
The Giants and Orioles expressed interest, but according to a source, the club that came closest to acquiring Bruce had been the Phillies.
As Craig would go on to say, the Phillies easily could have afforded to take on part or all of Bruce's $13 million salary for 2017. The team ended up taking on all of Clay Buchholz's $13.5 million salary for 2017 in a similar situation, in hopes that he would pitch well enough to develop trade value later this summer.
The Phillies weren't able to land Bruce, who Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia said in mid-January was out of the team's price range. Less than a week after that report, the team instead elected to sign Michael Saunders to a one-year/$9 million deal with a club option for a second year.
This isn't the first time that the Phillies have been linked to Bruce. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported last December that the Phillies had discussed a trade for Bruce last spring, when he was still with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds instead held onto Bruce until trading him to the Mets prior to last year's Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.