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Mets trade Jay Bruce to Cleveland Indians

Jay Bruce of the Mets reacts after flying out

Jay Bruce of the Mets reacts after flying out to end the game against the Padres at Citi Field on May 25, 2017.  Credit: Steven Ryan

Jay Bruce talked Wednesday about how the Mets struggled against the Rangers after a 5-1 loss and how they hope to come out of their rut. By last night, it was no longer his problem. In fact, he was playoff bound.

The Indians acquired Bruce in a Wednesday night, ending weeks of speculation as to the fate of one of the biggest bats in the Mets lineup.

Bruce, who leads the Mets with 29 home runs, was the subject of rampant trade rumors leading up to the non-waiver deadline, but the market for him was weak, leading to offers that the Mets believed weren’t equal to his value.

A week later, things have clearly changed, with the Indians — one of the biggest players for Bruce pre-deadline — pulling the trigger.

In return, the Mets give up the rest of Bruce’s $13 million salary, which will be paid by the Indians, and possibly attempt to bolster the bullpen that has so often been a liability this year.

The Mets acquired Class A reliever, Ryan Ryder, 22, who was 3-4 with six saves and a 4.79 ERA. Ryder, the Indians’ 30th-round selection in the 2016 draft, was named to the Midwest League midseason All Star team.

Bruce also got interest from the Yankees, according to a source, with the team offering multiple prospects, but with only partial salary compensation. It appears the Yankees offered a better overall prospect package, but it wasn’t enough to sway the Mets.

Bruce, 30, hit .256 with 75 RBIs and a .524 slugging percentage this season. The three-time All Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner joined the Mets last year after 8 ½ seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, and was in the last year of a seven-year, $63-million deal. He can be a free agent after this season.

“While I wasn’t able to be part of what we all thought was going to be an amazing season, I more than enjoyed my time as a Met, and I appreciate the support of all the fans,” Bruce said. “You were passionate and sincere, and as a baseball player, that’s what you hope for. Thank you!”

Bruce cleared waivers, giving him the chance to be dealt. He had been somewhat surprised that there were no takers leading up to the original trade deadline.

“You would like to think that someone can use the type of offense that I offer,” Bruce said recently. “But like I said, it is more complex than that. You have to fit on a team.”

With Marc Carig

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