Jay Bruce returning to Mets on 3-year, $39M contract

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A three-time All-Star, Bruce hit a combined.254 with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs for the Mets and Cleveland Indians last season.

Bruce, who turns 31 on April 3, fills a hole in the outfield and brings back some much-needed power to a Mets team trying to rebound from an injury-ravaged 70-92 season.

The move is not without risk.

With Bruce back in the fold, the Mets' 2018 starting outfield is likely to consist of Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Michael Conforto in center and Bruce in right. And never has he posted a particularly high batting average or on-base percentage, hitting.249 and getting on at a.319 clip for his career. Bruce had a WAR of 2.9 during this season. Bruce also offers a possible option at first base if touted prospect Dominic Smith struggles again. He had received interest from the San Francisco Giants on the free-agent market before electing to return to NY. Santana's three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies is the largest.

"I'm happy", Mets ace Noah Syndergaard tweeted Wednesday night, with a "wackyBruce" hashtag. Bruce came over to the Mets in a deadline deal with the Reds in 2016, and then was traded from NY to Cleveland when the Mets fell out of contention last summer.

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The following offseason, many questioned whether the Texas native who had previously spent his entire professional career with the Reds could handle the NY spotlight.

Jeurys Familia will hopefully stay healthy this year, and having guys like AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins and the aforementioned Swarzak waiting in the wings makes the pen solid.

Bruce, popular in the Indians clubhouse during the two months he was with the Tribe, played in 43 regular-season games with the Indians.

Bruce is familiar with new Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who was the pitching coach with the Indians last season. The rightfielder played 153 games with the Mets and had a slash of.245/.313/.482 to go along with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs.

Terms of the agreement were first reported by ESPN.

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