April isn’t typically the month when Major League Baseball players decide to call it a career. The first full month of a normal season, it’s the time when guys gear up rather than wind down. This past April, we saw a rarity for former New York Mets players. In the span of just nine days, three ex-Mets retired.
These weren’t just guys who made brief pit stops in Flushing either. All of them suited up for the 2016 Mets—the last to make the postseason.
I know you’ve been paying close attention to the 2021 Mets, but maybe you forgot these three veterans had hoped to play this year. Instead, they’re enjoying a nice pension.
Former Mets outfielder Jay Bruce retired on April 18
Jay Bruce’s time with the Mets isn’t a truly memorable one even if he did manage to piece together solid numbers in one of his half seasons with the club. Twice traded by the Mets but also signed as a free agent in between, Bruce never played in more than 103 games for the club in any one year.
A strong showing in 2017 convinced the Mets to bring him back in the offseason. However, in 2018, Bruce was often injured and not nearly as productive at the plate. His time in Flushing ended with the infamous trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He ended up with the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of 2019 and again in 2020 before returning to New York for the 2021 campaign.
You may remember plenty of sports talk chatter about Bruce’s role with the New York Yankees for the 2021 season. He won his way onto the Opening Day roster with a hot spring but that was about all he could do for them.
In ten games and 39 trips to the plate, Bruce batted .118/.231/.235 with a single home run. The slow start mixed with other options caused Bruce to voluntarily retire early into his tenure with the Pinstripes.
To his credit, he went out with 319 lifetime home runs which ties him with both Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder.