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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mets News: Mets To Sign OF Jay Bruce

Image result for jay bruce mets Mets News: Mets To Sign OF Jay Bruce

The Mets have reached an agreement to bring outfielder Jay Bruce back to New York, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that it’s a three-year, $39MM contract, adding that the deal is still pending a physical.

Bruce has long been a reported target of the Mets, and Mike Puma of the New York Post reported earlier this afternoon that the two sides had been in contact over the past few days.

New York has been seeking an outfielder that can also serve as an insurance policy at first base in the event that young Dominic Smith continues to struggle, and Bruce fits that description to some degree. While Bruce’s experience at first base is limited, he did appear in 12 games at first base with the Mets this past season and worked out there quite a bit before seeing in-game action at the position. The Mets have informed Bruce that he’ll likely play some first base this time around, tweets Puma, though it stands to reason that the amount of time he sees at the position will be tied directly to how well the 22-year-old Smith is able to adjust to big league pitching. (Smith hit just .198/.262/.395 through 183 plate appearances as a rookie in 2017.) Of course, Bruce also figures to see plenty of time — if not the majority of his time — in the outfield corners. Currently, the Mets have Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in their outfield mix, though Lagares’ name has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors and Conforto is returning from significant shoulder surgery.

Between Conforto’s shoulder injury, Smith’s inexperience and the litany of maladies that prevented Cespedes and Lagares from taking the field with regularity in 2017, it seems likely that new manager Mickey Callaway (who knows Bruce well already from his two months in Cleveland) should have ample opportunity to get Bruce into the lineup.

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