Duel position player Jay Bruce returns to the Mets after a brief affair with the Cleveland Indians. The former Cincinnati slugger who was looking for a lavish long-term contract settled on a three-year deal worth 39 million.
After an anemic offensive start in 2016, Bruce proved his bat wasn’t broken in his sophomore season, carrying the Mets injury plagued line-up with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs.
The soon to be 31-year old hoped his first free agency deal would garner more dough – but with spring training five weeks away and a slew of top free agents still on the shelf, fear of player’s imminent futures has kept the money in the owner’s pockets.
How fortuitous for the tight wad Wilpons, who notoriously go for the quick fix by tossing cheap money at players who are way past their prime. But Bruce was a good get for the Mets by securing some insurance in the outfield while Michael Conforto mends from surgery to repair a torn posterior capsule in his left shoulder. Also, it will give the young first baseman Dominic Smith some breathing room to develop without the pressure of delivering as an every day player.
Now the question is, whom do they turn to when things don’t work out at second? How sweet it would have been to reunite Bruce with his short lived Cleveland crony Jason Kipnis, but it was reported Thursday morning that a potential deal was nixed due to the miserly Mets no brain trust.