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Mets sign Jay Bruce to three-year, $39 million deal

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The Mets are bringing Bruce back to Queens.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have signed Jay Bruce to a three-year, $39 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal. That deal is, of course, pending Bruce’s physical.

Bruce spent just over a calendar year with the Mets after they acquired him from the Reds on August 1, 2016. They gave up pitching prospect Max Wotell and infielder Dilson Herrera in that deal. Bruce struggled mightily upon his arrival to the team, though he finished the 2016 season strong. He fared much better in the portion of the 2017 season that he spent with the Mets, as he hit .256/.321/.520 with 29 home runs and a 120 wRC+ before the Mets dealt him to the contending Indians on August 7.

Bringing Bruce back gives the Mets some insurance for Michael Conforto’s return to action as he comes back from the gruesome shoulder injury he suffered last year. While he’s out, the team’s everyday outfield figures to be Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, and Bruce. And once Conforto returns, it stands to reason that either Conforto will be playing in center quite a bit or Bruce will be taking over as the team’s everyday first baseman. How that plays out will probably depend upon what Dominic Smith does.