Mets reportedly bring back OF Jay Bruce on a 3-year, $39 million deal
After trading him to the Indians this past season, the Mets have reportedly brought back the power hitting Bruce
For a while, the Hot Stove was ice cold. When it all comes down to it, this MLB offseason might be the least productive one in recent memory. It appears the Mets thought so as well. It is being reported that the team has brought Jay Bruce back into the fold, signing the outfielder to a three-year, $39 million deal. The club has not confirmed.
With the deal, the Mets would owe Bruce $10 million this year and $13 million the next two seasons. The team regained a piece to the puzzle for competing in 2018. They also gained more than they lost in salary. If you recall, the Mets traded Bruce to the Indians in the middle of last season for relief pitcher Ryder Ryan. The 22-year old still has time to develop, and fans are hoping he was worth the gamble for a power hitter like Bruce. With this deal however, it’s almost as if nothing happened.
Here’s some proof that this offseason has been slow: Bruce’s $39 million will be the second biggest guaranteed payout this season for a position player. The highest is a three-year, $60 million investment of Carlos Santana by the Phillies.
This is indeed a positive signing by the team. Bruce’s power hitting numbers are greatly needed in a depleted Mets lineup. With questions surrounding Michael Conforto’s health, Bruce is the perfect fit for right field, with Yoenis Cespedes in left. A combination of Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo and eventually Conforto can man the middle of the outfield. Just like last season, Bruce can also man first base for Dominic Smith if the young prospect struggles. Some veteran leadership might be the help the 22-year old Smith needs.
One concern with the deal would be Bruce’s consistency at the plate. In 153 games for the Mets after being traded by the Reds in 2016, Bruce batted .245 with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs. His OBP was .313 while his SLG was .482. Starting off as cold as ice, Bruce brought back the heat in 2017. During that productive season, he hit .256 with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs.
With the team continuing to rebuild, it will be interesting to observe the patience and skills of Bruce. The ten-year veteran will look to prove his production last season with The Amazins wasn’t a one-time affair. If he can do that, the fans will be on his side once again, and if the team goes as he goes, we could be in for one wild season.