It has been a crazy afternoon, but Jay Bruce is now officially a member of the New York Mets. The Reds got a different main piece in return however, after initial medical reports failed on one of the lower level prospects in the deal.
Here is the official deal:
Mets get: Jay Bruce
Reds get: Dilson Herrera (2B/SS), Max Wotell (LHP)
First off, Dilson Herrera. He is only 22 years old, however he has already appeared in 49 big league games between 2014-2015 (he made his debut at just 20 years old). Herrera didn’t hit well in 169 big league PA (.215/.308/.383), but most 20 year olds don’t. Herrera was the #46 prospect in all of baseball following the 2014 season according to Baseball America, and was seen as the second baseman of the future for the Mets. He was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 as an international free agent signing out of Columbia. He was traded to the Mets in 2013 for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Herrera is hitting .276/.327/.462 in 86 games at AAA this season (he has not played in the majors in 2016). Including last season, he has a .839 OPS in 167 games at AAA. Obviously, the initial response is to compare him to Brandon Nimmo (the guy who was originally in the Bruce deal before the complications). Nimmo does have a higher career OPS at AAA (.898 in 104 games). However, Herrera is seen as a much better defensive player, and will land at a tougher defensive position. He also likely has the higher ceiling.
It appears like the Reds had a choice of Herrera or Nimmo after the deal initially fell through, and they chose Herrera. The deal would have made more sense if Cozart would have been moved too, and the Reds could play Peraza at SS, and Herrera at 2B. The Reds could still try to move Cozart along the waiver wire, although that could be tough. They may simply wait, and try to trade Cozart in the off-season. Either way, at some point I would expect at Peraza-Herrera double play tandem. The Reds will control Herrera for five more seasons.
Now for Max Woten. He is only 19 years old, and was a third round pick back in 2015. He was the Mets #16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He has only pitched a total of 40.1 innings professionally. This season, he has a 3.94 ERA/3.98 FIP in 6 starts, with 31 strikeouts and 12 walks in 29.2 innings pitched. Here is some video of Max that was prepared for the 2015 draft. Here is the Fangraphs scouting report on Woten from Dan Farnsworth from back in March:
Wotell may be the pitcher I’d least like to face as a hitter from last year’s draft class. He has a funky delivery with a lot of side-to-side movements, but has a three-pitch mix the Mets think could all be above-average offerings. He’s very athletic, so the mechanical work he has in front of him is more likely to help than most. Club officials praise his on-field makeup and competitiveness. He’s definitely one to watch at the lower levels. Like many young pitchers, his command shows the biggest need for improvement.
Fastball: 45/50/55 Curveball: 45/50/55 Changeup: 40/45/50 Command:40/45/45+
We will have much more analysis on this deal, as well as posts celebrating the Reds career of Jay Bruce coming up this week on RN. I personally wish Jay nothing but the best in New York. He has been an absolute class act, especially during nearly two years of non-stop trade rumors.