The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. Bruce, who is 30 years old, was acquired by the Mets in 2016 from the Cincinnati Reds, and was with the Mets until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline last season.
Bruce, played a key role with the Indians during their MLB-record 22-game winning streak and postseason run.
Bruce will get $10 million this year and $14.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Throughout his career, Bruce has primarily played right field, but he has also made a few appearances at first base over the past few seasons. Smith, the Mets' first round pick in the 2013 Amateur Draft, was called up late last season after the Mets traded Lucas Duda.
With slugger Yoenis Cespedes coming off a hamstring injury in left, the Mets plan to have their top three outfielders from a year ago back intact. They have the potential to form a very productive trio for years to come if they're healthy.
Bruce's presence provides some insurance in case Conforto isn't ready at the beginning of the season.
According to numerous reports, the New York Mets have signed free agent outfielder Jay Bruce to a three year, $39 million deal. Bruce was an unrestricted free agent and he waited it out until the flawless timing came for him.
"I'm happy", Mets ace Noah Syndergaard tweeted Wednesday night, with a "wackyBruce" hashtag. He slumped badly down the stretch that year until finally going on a tear during the final week of the season to help NY secure a wild card for its second consecutive playoff appearance. It was expected Bruce would be traded to clear a logjam in the outfield, but he remained with the Mets and flourished (.841 OPS) for the first four months of 2017 while emerging as a respected leader in the locker room during a miserable season for the team.
NY began the year with great expectations that were quickly derailed by long-term injuries to Syndergaard, Cespedes and others. They could still sign free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas.
After being sent to Cleveland, however, Bruce said he enjoyed his time in NY and was open to coming back.
In his ten season career, Bruce is a.249 hitter and has hit a total of 277 home runs.
Terms of the agreement were first reported by ESPN.