SAN DIEGO — Jay Bruce began Monday night tied for fourth in the National League with 25 homers, the same as Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and one ahead of the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon, both of whom were All-Stars.
But with less than a week until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, a source said that the Mets outfielder has yet to attract significant interest in trade discussions.
“I feel like this is the most consistent I’ve been, which is huge,” Bruce said recently. “I pride myself on playing every single day, preparing, being ready to go, being the guy you can count on to post, and being a quality piece to a winning team. Individually this year, so far I’ve done that.”
Bruce, 30, entered Monday night with an .852 OPS this season. On the Mets, that ranks behind only Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda. But Bruce has been hurt by what has been a soft market for corner outfielders, especially for rentals.
Bruce is owed about $5 million for the rest of the season, perhaps a large enough contract to dissuade teams from claiming him, which would make him tradable after the deadline.
Thus far, most of the Mets’ trade discussions have been focused on closer Addison Reed, who has drawn interest from at least a half dozen teams. He has been linked to the Brewers, Dodgers and Red Sox.
Reed’s value has only gone up during what had been a well-timed period of dominance. Until giving up a run Monday night, he had not done so since June 24, a stretch of eight appearances in which he had eight strikeouts and only one walk.
“Command is much, much better,” manager Terry Collins said Monday. “Addy is a guy who lives on the corners. When you’re seeing him have success, he’s one of those guys when it seems like he needs to make a pitch, he makes the pitch.”
Though Reed is in demand, the Mets might have trouble moving some of their available position players.
The Red Sox have been linked to infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, who made his second career start at third base Monday night and went 3-for-4. But the Red Sox signaled a shift in direction by promoting 20-year-old prospect Rafael Devers to man third base.
n Extra bases
Neil Walker (hamstring) continued his minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas; he went 1-for-4 with an RBI. But it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready in time to rejoin the Mets in San Diego. He has been sidelined since June 15 . . . Outfielder Brandon Nimmo (partially collapsed lung) began his rehab by going 0-for-4 for Las Vegas. He has been on the DL since July 5 . . . Top prospect Amed Rosario returned to the Vegas starting lineup after an illness. He went 1-for-4 with two RBIs . . . The Mets signed righthander Jona than Albaladejo to a minor-league deal. He will be slotted into the rotation at Las Vegas. Albaladejo, a former Yankee, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2012.
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