Jay Bruce agrees to deal with New York Mets

Jay Bruce is back with the Mets

The free agent outfielder has agreed to a 3-year, $39 million deal with the Mets, as first reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

In 153 games with the Mets Bruce blasted 37 home runs and knocked in 94 runs establishing himself as a consistent presence in the Mets lineup. He hit.256 with 29 home runs and 75 RBI for the Mets last season.

Bruce has never played a full season for the Mets.

Bruce's deal is the second highest for a free-agent position player this offseason - trailing only first baseman? In 43 games with Cleveland, Bruce hit.248 with seven homers.

Bruce displayed his usual lefthanded power bat before getting traded away last season.

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. First baseman Carlos Santana signed with Philadelphia for $60 million over three years, and closer Wade Davis got $52 million over three years from Colorado.

The Mets had been open about their desire to bring back Bruce and he had told people within the organization that the team would be among the top four he would like to sign with this winter.

In a slow-developing market around the majors this offseason, Bruce's deal would be the third-largest given to a free agent so far.

According to a source, the Mets are also interested in reuniting with free agent reliever Addison Reed.

Bruce was acquired by the Mets in 2016 and did not perform well, batting just.219 in 50 games. NY picked up Bruce's $13 million option last offseason but immediately began to shop him around. Dilson Herrera and pitcher Max Wotell in August 2016, then traded him to Cleveland for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan during the stretch drive last summer.

Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season.

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