Jay Bruce has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Yankees, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Saturday.
The club has not officially announced the move. Bruce will earn $1.35 million if he makes the team, plus $50,000 bonuses for 400, 450 and 500 plate appearances, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Bruce, 33, batted .198/.252/.469 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in 32 games for the Phillies last season. A three-time National League All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, the left-handed-hitting outfielder owns a career .245/.314/.469 slash line (108 OPS+) with 318 home runs and 948 RBIs over 1,640 games with the Reds, Mets, Indians, Mariners and Phillies.
The Yankees attempted to trade for Bruce in August 2017, believing that they were close to a deal with the Mets, who instead opted to deal Bruce to Cleveland. Bruce played against the Yankees in that season’s AL Division Series, then he returned to the Mets as a free agent. Bruce was traded to Seattle in the December 2018 Robinson Canó deal, then he was swapped to Philadelphia in June 2019.
Bruce provides an experienced left-handed bat as the Yankees seek balance for a lineup that skews heavily toward the right side. The Yanks’ outfield projects to feature Clint Frazier in left field, switch-hitter Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in right field, with Giancarlo Stanton expected to serve as the primary designated hitter.
The signing does not necessarily preclude the Bombers from re-signing outfielder Brett Gardner, who remains a free agent after receiving a $2.5 million buyout from the club in October.