In a move that seemed to come out of nowhere, the Cleveland Indians have acquired outfielder Jay Bruce from the New York Mets on Wednesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick was the first to break the story of the deal, made possible after Bruce cleared waivers.
The team confirmed the Bruce acquisition around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday with this tweet:
We've acquired Jay Bruce, whose 29 homers for the Mets rank ninth in MLB. https://t.co/LZZBagv34C
He'll join us in Tampa this weekend. pic.twitter.com/TTTZACqcPp— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 10, 2017
The New York Post's Joel Sherman adds the following details:
Bruce will provide a much needed spark to the Indians offense. The 30-year-old is hitting .258 this season with 29 HR and 75 RBI. As the Indians noted on Twitter, the 29 HR ranks 9th in in the Major Leagues.
He is a three-time National League All-Star, including in 2016 when he hit 25 HR in 97 games for the Cincinnati Reds before being traded to the Mets on August 1. The Indians were reportedly one of the teams interested in Bruce at the time. Bruce had a disappointing 50 games in New York after the trade, hitting just .218 with 8 HR to close out 2016.
Bruce has been the model of consistency of power in his career, hitting at least 25 homers in 7 different seasons since 2010, tops in the Major Leagues. He has also won two Silver Slugger Awards.
With Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley both on the DL, Bruce will help provide some missing power from the left side of the plate. He primarily plays right field, but could DH or play first base for the Tribe depending on the situation.
The Indians are parting with 22-year-old reliever Ryder Ryan. He has been at Class-A Lake County for all of 2017, going 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA and 6 saves across 33 relief appearances.