Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Bruce returning to Mets

Bruce returning to Mets

The 30-year-old Bruce spent 153 games over the 2016 and 2017 seasons before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians this past August.

It looks like big-hitting outfielder Jay Bruce is on his way back to Flushing.

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Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season. The deal is pending a physical.

With the Mets unable to strike a deal, Bruce returned to the team and enjoyed a strong season, batting.256 with 29 homers and 75 RBIs in 103 games.

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Baseball's hot stove has functioned more as a lukewarm cooktop this offseason, but on Wednesday evening, fans were treated to a nugget of significant free agent news. Bruce also offers a possible option at first base if touted prospect Dominic Smith struggles again. Bruce's deal is for three years, $39 million, The Post's Mike Puma confirmed. To this point, New York's biggest move had been the $14 million, two-year contract it gave to free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak. However, he rebounded last season to club 29 homers in 103 games for NY. Bruce's signing could spark things back into motion as we are just about one month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.

NY began the year with great expectations that were quickly derailed by long-term injuries to Syndergaard, Cespedes and others.

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NY was one of at least four teams interested in Bruce. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN was the first to report the news.

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