On the first day of the offseason, the Mets have already made some moves official. Most notably, the team picked up its $13 million option on Jay Bruce for 2017, officially exercised its option on Jose Reyes for the major league minimum, and declined its $10 million option on Jon Niese.
The move to keep Bruce under contract for next season is not necessarily surprising, but some thought the team could instead exercise the $1 million buyout on his contract. The 29-year-old hit just .219/.294/.391 with the team after being acquired on the August 1 trade deadline for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell, but buying out the contract never seemed to be in the Mets’ plans.
The excercising of Reyes’ option and declining of Niese’s were both reported a few weeks ago by Jon Heyman; they were simply made official by the team today. Niese will recieve a $500,000 buyout.
As of right now, Bruce appears to be the front-runner for a bulk of the playing time in right field for the Mets next season. Reyes’s role with the team will likely depend on the health of David Wright, who Reyes replaced at third base last season, as well as what else happens over the rest of the offseason.