Bruce gives the Mets some insurance in the outfield and in the lineup as Michael Conforto recovers from surgery to fix a torn capsule in his left shoulder. He hit 36 homers and drove in 101 runs last season.
NY reportedly agreed to a back-loaded deal that will pay Bruce $10 million in 2018 and $14.5 million in each of the following two seasons.
Major League Baseball free agency had hit a stand still since the winter meetings, with few signings or trades taking place. He hit. 248 with seven home runs and 26 RBI.
Bruce's contract is the largest paid out to a free agent outfielder thus far this offseason, but J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain are both expected to command more significant contracts.
But the money and the length of the contract he wanted were an issue for the Mets, who have said they will be under the $154 million payroll they began 2017 with.
After being sent to Cleveland, however, Bruce said he enjoyed his time in NY and was open to coming back.
This much is clear: The focus will stay on the lineup, with last month's addition of free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak likely to stand as the only notable offseason pitching acquisition. All four of the players projected as this winter's top free agents - Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer and Martinez - remained unsigned as of Wednesday night. All together Bruce has played in five postseason series. The Mets traded him to the Cleveland Indians midseason, and he continued to hit well.
That is certainly what the Mets seemingly got with this deal with Bruce. Bruce previously played with the Cincinnati Reds from 2008-2016, the Mets from 2016-2017, and the Indians to close out the 2017 season.
Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season.
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