Mets bring back Jay Bruce


Jay Bruce is returning to the New York Mets.

Although he is known to go through hot and cold streaks throughout his career, the Mets added a significant offensive upgrade, which will be a big help in the upcoming season.

Between the Indians and the Mets, Bruce finished with 36 home runs and 101 R.B.I. - the fifth time he has hit at least 30 home runs and driven in 90 runs in his 10-year career.

It can be reasonably expected that if the Mets are fully healthy, their starting outfield would consist of Bruce in right field, Michael Conforto in center field, and Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

He can become a free agent next winter. Before being traded to the Mets in 2016, Bruce played almost nine seasons with the Reds. Throughout Bruce's 10 year career he has played in 1,416 games, has batted.249/.319/.472, has 272 doubles, 29 triples, 277 home runs, drove in 838 runs, and averages about 158 strikeouts per season.

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Bruce was instrumental to Cleveland's postseason run with seven home runs and 26 RBIs for the Indians down the stretch including an additional two home runs and 4 RBIs in the ALDS against the Yankees.

But the money and the length of the contract he wanted were an issue for the Mets, who have said they will be under the $154 million payroll they began 2017 with. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports it is a three-year, $39 million deal.

Talks with Bruce might have been the reason why this deal was canceled.

The Mets signed reliever Anthony Swarzak to a two-year, $14-million deal in December, but it was unclear whether they would open their wallet any more.

Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season. However, Bruce was dealt at the trade deadline to the Cleveland Indians for cash and pitching prospect Ryder Ryan.