Jay Bruce will reunite with his former team after agreeing to a 3-year, $39 Million contract with the New York Mets.
Bruce’s contract is backloaded with him making $10 million in 2018, $14.5 million in 2019, and $14.5 million in 2020. This will make Bruce’s contract the second largest among all Free Agent position players this offseason besides Carlos Santana who will make a guaranteed $60 million over the course of the next 4-years in Philidelphia.
Jay Bruce played for the Cleveland Indians in 2017 after being traded at last season’s trade deadline. In 2017, Bruce posted a slash line of .254/.324/.508 with 36 home runs, 101 RBI, and a 2.6 WAR. Bruce has also amassed 69 home runs in the last two seasons (10th most in MLB).
The Mets have been looking to bolster their very unintimidating batting lineup this entire offseason and they have now added one of the many pieces they will need to get back in contention. The Mets have a dynamite pitching rotation when it is healthy, but the offense is sub-par and the Mets have a lot of work to do if they want to somehow compete with the Nationals for the division title, or a NL Wild Card spot. The Mets went a meager 70-92 in 2017 and finished 4th in the weak NL East.
After playing for more than 10 years in Cincinnati with the Reds, Bruce was shipped off to New York for Dilson Herrera and pitcher Max Wotell in August 2016. The Mets then sent Jay over to Cleveland in return for Minor League pitcher Ryder Ryan. After playing just 43 games in an Indians uniform, Bruce will now reunite with his former team in the Mets. The Giants were also actively pursuing Bruce before he made his definitive decision.
This is a very safe deal for the Mets as it will not be too much of a burden on their payroll and Bruce is guaranteed an amount of money that a 13-year old baseball writer such as myself could only dream of. This deal has a lot of upside and since the 30-year old Jay Bruce has not showed signs of slowing down, we can expect a 30-35 home run season and a big improvement in the Mets lineup. Unfortunately, for the Mets, they still have a great deal of work to do if they want to get back into contention in 2018.