New York could have had the Tribe’s second baseman via trade.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to bringing back Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million contract from the Cleveland Indians, it appears that the New York Mets were targeting another member of the Tribe.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Mets had a deal worked out with Cleveland for two-time All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis before someone pulled the plug on said trade over money.

In the end, New York added Bruce on a contract that will pay him $13 million annually without having to part with any prospects. The Mets’ higher-ups didn’t see the $30.5 million Kipnis is owed over the next two seasons as good value.

Kipnis, 30, is coming off an injury-plagued and disappointing 2017 campaign that saw him hit .232 with 12 homers, 35 RBI and a .291 OBP in 90 games. He had put up a .265 mark with an average of 14 homers and 65 RBI over the previous four seasons.

Cleveland is still looking to move Kipnis, but teams might not be biting on that relatively lofty contract for a player that’s on the wrong side of 30.

As it relates to the Mets, they bring back a player with 30-plus homer power to an otherwise relatively weak lineup. New York dealt Bruce — then an impending free agent — to Cleveland this past August.

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