The Mets are adding some outfield depth to their 2018 roster with a familiar face.
Jay Bruce was traded to the Cleveland Indians on August 9 of last year and a lot of us were sad thinking that was the last time we’d see the big slugger in a Mets uniform. It turns out that he’ll be back in blue and orange until at least 2020, according to reports from Jerry Crasnick and Ken Rosenthal.
The signing, which is being reported as a deal for $39 million over the next three seasons, helps out the Mets in a couple of key areas. There are questions that Michael Conforto may not be ready for Opening Day this season after his awful shoulder injury last year. Having Bruce in the lineup to start the season in right field will be huge while Conforto is out.
Bruce’s presence also gives Dominic Smith some backup in the infield should the youngster continue to struggle as he did after being called up last season. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was critical of Smith earlier this offseason, so it makes sense that the Mets want some depth at first base in case he needs to be sent back down to the minors at some point.
As a Met, Bruce has been extremely productive. He only played in Queens for a little over a full year after being traded to the club in a late postseason push in 2016.
Many fans (myself included) criticized the move to bring Bruce back in 2017 because he did struggle after being traded to New York. Thankfully, we were wrong. Bruce quickly became one of the main offensive weapons the team had all season. His .841 OPS was the second highest on the entire team after Conforto, while his 29 home runs led all hitters.
This is a very good deal for Sandy and the Mets. They were patient, they didn’t overpay for Bruce in money or years, and are getting a great bat, teammate to be a part of this team for three more seasons. The hot stove is heating up!