The New York Mets floundered in the 2017-2018 season but Jay Bruce has been a consistent power hitter threat and a popular figure in the locker room.
The contract was for three years at $39 million. According to the New York Times, the right fielder will get $10 million in the first year, and $14.5 million for the next two years. There’s also a no-trade clause inserted in the contract.
Last year, Bruce hit .256, 75 RBIs and 29 home runs with the Mets before he was shipped off to the Indians in August. In 2017, the 30-year-old recorded a personal best of 36 home runs. In the 10 years he played in the MLB, he only failed to hit 20 home runs in a season one time.
Bruce’s contract, reported USA Today, is the third most lucrative in the off-season signings. Carlos Santana signed the richest contract with the Phillies for $60 million, followed by the $52-million deal signed by Wade Davis with the Colorado Rockies. Both contracts are also for three years.
The NY Post said that the contract offered to Bruce was backloaded to provide the team flexibility, especially since the payroll already breached the $155 million mark last season. It’s not the most expensive, compared to the $242 million of the Los Angeles Dodgers for instance, but the Mets had nothing to show for it in terms of winning percentage.
The Post projected the Mets payroll so far going into the 2018 season to be around $138 million to include the backloaded contract offered to Bruce, and another backloaded contract to Anthony Swarzak (2-year, $14 million).
The Mets still badly need a second hitter and an infielder, so general manager Sandy Alderson needs all the financial flexibility to fill the roster and compete for the 2018 MLB season.