Jay Bruce
The Mets make a smart, calculated decision to bring back Jay Bruce at a reasonable price. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Jay Bruce is headed back to Queens! Bruce spent approximately two years in New York but was traded to Cleveland at the trade deadline for a pair of lesser prospects. The Mets, however, pulled off some cheese and will now bring back Bruce on a reasonable contract despite trading him just six months ago. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN was the first to report the news.

Bruce, 30 will also be given a limited no-trade clause within the three years, $39 million deal. The deal figures to be pretty reasonable considering Bruce did not have a qualifying offer attached to him which would have prevented interested teams who did not want to lose draft pick compensation. Earlier this offseason Carlos Santana, a comparable player, landed a three-year, $60 million deal who comes with much less power than Bruce does.

Bruce spent the 2017 postseason with the Indians where he knocked in two home runs in the Division Series. New Mets manager, Mickey Callaway, was the Indians pitching coach last year and has some familiarity with Bruce as will many of the old faces within the clubhouse. Bruce finished the 2017 season with a batting line of .254/.324/.508 to go along with a career-high 36 long balls.

Bruce will likely be the mainstay in right field but could also see time at first base. Highly touted prospect Dominic Smith struggled to say the least (.196 average) during his time in the majors. Bruce has the ability to play first base but will play a majority of time in right field where the Mets defense is beyond questionable. New York will likely feature a three-man group of Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, and Bruce where the club lacks a true defensive center fielder outside of Juan Lagares who can’t hit for much pop.