Steve Nesius/Associated Press
Jay Bruce will return to the New York Mets after agreeing to a deal with the team, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported Wednesday.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Bruce will earn $39 million over three years.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported the San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros were interested in signing Bruce but couldn’t get a deal completed.
The veteran outfielder is coming off one of the best years of his career, hitting a career-high 36 home runs between his time with the Mets and Cleveland Indians. He finished with a .254 batting average and an .832 OPS, both of which were ahead of his career marks.
He ended up hitting .278 with two home runs and four RBI in the playoffs while the Indians lost to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. Bruce hit the game-tying home run in Cleveland’s 9-8 Game 2 victory that needed 13 innings to determine a winner.
While Bruce is a bit of a one-dimensional player, he remains an elite power hitter with 277 home runs in his career, totaling at least 20 in all but one of his 10 seasons at the major league level. He has 69 home runs and 200 RBI in the past two seasons while playing for three different teams.
Even with below-average defense and speed, the 30-year-old continues to show he can be a valuable commodity in the middle of a batting order and a key part of an offense.
Although he is known to go through hot and cold streaks throughout his career, the Mets added a significant offensive upgrade, which will be a big help in the upcoming season.