Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Jay Bruce returns to Mets on 3-year deal

Jay Bruce returns to Mets on 3-year deal

Free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with the New York Mets on Wednesday night, marking a return to Queens for one of the most consistent left-handed power hitters, a source familiar with the agreement told Yahoo Sports.

Bruce, who turns 31 on April 3, fills a hole in the outfield and brings back some much-needed power to a Mets team trying to rebound from an injury-ravaged 70-92 season.

Bruce finished with a.248/.331/.477 slash line in 2017 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI, including 7 HR and 26 RBI in 43 games in Cleveland.

It appears that the New York Mets have finally made the splash in free agency that their fans were hoping for. Bruce performed well in the postseason, hitting two home runs and driving in four in the ALDS.

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.

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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.

In a slow-developing market around the majors this offseason, Bruce's deal would be the third-largest given to a free agent so far.

It looks like big-hitting outfielder Jay Bruce is on his way back to Flushing. He was acquired from Cincinnati in 2016 and played 50 games for NY that season, followed by 103 games in 2017 before coming to the Tribe.

With spring training five weeks away and some players admittedly beginning to get nervous about their ever-nearer futures, teams are able to negotiate more team friendly deals. NY picked up Bruce's $13 million option last offseason but immediately began to shop him around.

Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season. He hit.256 with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs for the Mets before being dealt to Cleveland on August 9 for righthanded pitcher Ryder Ryan.

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