Mets to exercise 2017 option for OF Jay Bruce worth $13 million

The New York Mets will exercise the option of OF Jay Bruce. The former All-Star will earn $13 million in 2017.

Throughout most of August and September, Bruce had really been a disappointment for the Mets. When traded to the Mets from the Cincinnati Reds, Bruce was hitting .265. Over 97 games, he hit 25 homers and drove in 80 runs.

However, during his first 20 games with the Mets, he hit a horrible .158. He had just two HR and eight RBI during that span. A full season at that pace would equate to just 16 Home Runs and 65 RBI.

Down the stretch, Bruce turned things around and began to play like the All-Star he is. During the final eight games of the season, he hit a very impressive .480. His OPS during that time was above 1.500 as he hit four HR and drove in eight runs.

Those numbers were a few of many that helped the team reach the playoffs for the second straight season. It also laid the foundation for a great 2017 season. If Bruce had really turned a corner, the $13 million option could be a steal for numerous reasons.

One factor that aids the possibility of another great season is that Bruce is putting the ball in play more. His 7.5 percent walk rate was the lowest since his rookie year in 2008. While that’s not a great sign, his 21.4 percent strikeout rate was his lowest since 2009, and was a huge improvement from his 27.3 percent strikeout rate of just two seasons ago.

His Isolated Power, or simply his raw power was also his highest since 2012 and the second-highest of his career. As a matter of fact, only 13 MLB hitters had a better ISO than Bruce in 2016. The likes of Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, and Daniel Murphy don’t appear ahead of him.

If Bruce can go on to hit 30 HR and drive in 100 over the course of 2017, it would have been a great deal. However, it’s an even better deal knowing Cespedes will opt out of his contract at any moment.

While that is the worst case scenario, bringing back Bruce not only serves as insurance in the case that Cespedes does walk, it could make for one powerhouse outfield if he doesn’t.

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