Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Jay Bruce returning to Mets on three-year deal, reports say

Jay Bruce is back with the Mets Jay Bruce is back with the Mets
Domingo Copeland | 11 January, 2018, 09:26

The free agent outfielder has agreed to a 3-year, $39 million deal with the Mets, as first reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Additionally, San Francisco is looking to improve its defense and add a right-handed power hitter to its lineup, and Bruce is merely an average defender who hits from the left side. However, he rebounded last season to club 29 homers in 103 games for NY.

Jay Bruce is returning to the New York Mets.

The Mets made it clear this winter they were seeking an outfielder who could play first if needed, and Bruce started 10 games there last season for NY. Bruce performed well in the postseason, hitting two home runs and driving in four in the ALDS.

The lack of movement on the free agent market this winter and particularly with top slugging outfielder J.D. Martinez still out there seemingly holding up other players, however, seems to have created a buyers market in January. First baseman Carlos Santana signed with Philadelphia for $60 million over three years, and closer Wade Davis got $52 million over three years from Colorado.

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It's weird to think about it this way, specially after the signing of Bruce, but if the Mets bring back Walker, and Reed, they are a better team than what they are right now and probably a better team than they were for the majority of 2017. The rightfielder played 153 games with the Mets and had a slash of.245/.313/.482 to go along with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs.

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. The average annual value of Bruce's deal is $13 million, which would have swallowed up almost the entire pool of money the Giants have left to add to their payroll this offseason. Dilson Herrera and pitcher Max Wotell in August 2016, then traded him to Cleveland for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan during the stretch drive last summer.

After the trade, Bruce hit.248 with 7 HR and 26 RBI in 43 regular season games. With the Mets unable to strike a deal, Bruce returned to the team and enjoyed a strong season, batting.256 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs in 103 games.

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