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Reds trade Jay Bruce to Mets for prospects

The Mets are getting a corner outfielder to play alongside Yoenis Cespedes.

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have added some left-handed punch to their offense on Monday, reportedly trading for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Brandon Nimmo is not part of the deal, according to Marc Carig, although Sherman had originally reported he would be.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were among several teams interested in Bruce, and the Giants and Rangers made last-ditch efforts for an offer, but the Reds were no longer taking calls. Bruce had been a late scratch from Sunday's lineup in San Diego amid trade speculation, despite hitting at least one home run in five straight games for the Reds last week.

After some medical-related oddities and snags, the deal is done.

From the Reds' perspective, Bruce picked a fine time to have a bounce-back season, hitting .265/.316/.559 in 2016 with 25 home runs, after hitting just .222/.288/.406 in 2014-2015 combined, ranking 112th among 117 qualified batters in on-base percentage over the last two years.

Since the start of 2015, 42 of Bruce's 51 home runs have been hit against right-handed pitching. Bruce is in the final season of a six-year contract, making $12.5 million, per Cot's Contacts, with roughly $4.6 million remaining in 2016. There is also a club option worth $13 million in 2017, or a $1 million buyout.

The only thing surprising about the Bruce trade is that it didn't happen earlier. The Reds lost 98 games in 2015 and are on pace for about the same in 2016, their second straight season in last place in the National League Central.

Cincinnati traded closer Aroldis Chapman and third baseman Todd Frazier in the offseason. They tried to trade Brandon Phillips, but a proposed deal to Washington fell through. That left Bruce, who stuck around and made his third All-Star Game this season.

"I know the skit now. This is a business and I understand the business of it. I fully expect the Reds to fully vet every option they can and we’ll see what happens," Bruce said during All-Star festivities in San Diego, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I’m guessing the Reds don’t hate that I’ve played well, because it helps them currently and if it does come down to a trade, having more value has never hurt an organization."