NEW YORK -- The Mets have upgraded their lineup by adding a familiar face, agreeing to terms late Wednesday on a three-year, $39 million contract with veteran Jay Bruce, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.The club has not confirmed the signing, and Bruce must undergo a physical examination to finalize
NEW YORK -- The Mets have upgraded their lineup by adding a familiar face, agreeing to terms late Wednesday on a three-year, $39 million contract with veteran Jay Bruce, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
The club has not confirmed the signing, and Bruce must undergo a physical examination to finalize his return to Queens. The agreement includes a five-team partial no-trade clause, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported.
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Though most of Bruce's professional innings have been played in right field, he played first base previously with the Mets, and they will ask him to play some first base this season as Dominic Smith attempts to establish himself as an everyday big leaguer.
A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, the 30-year-old Bruce spent the first nine seasons of his big league career with the Reds before being traded to the Mets on Aug. 1, 2016.
He compiled a .245/.313/.482 split line with 37 homers and 94 RBIs in 153 games for the Mets over the 2016-17 seasons, establishing himself as one of the team's most productive offensive players. Bruce was traded to the Indians in August 2017 in exchange for Minor League pitcher Ryder Ryan.
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With the Mets and Indians in 2017, Bruce batted .254/.324/.508 with a career-best 36 home runs and 101 RBIs through 146 games, helping Cleveland win 42 of 51 regular-season contests after his arrival.
Bruce competed in the American League Division Series for the Indians against the Yankees in October, hitting .278 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Bruce continued to swing a powerful bat in 2017, recording an impressive 40.3 percent hard-hit rate with an average fly-ball distance of 332 feet, per Statcast™. As a result, the veteran finished with the highest homer total (36) and the second-best RBI mark (101) of his 10-year career. While the Mets and Citi Field do not present the ideal fantasy landing spot for the slugger, he should produce at least 30 homers and 95 RBIs while working with Yoenis Cespedes to form a potent pair in the heart of the lineup.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.