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Bruce, who will be 31 next season, returns to the Mets and immediately give some much-needed pop from the left side of the plate.

Jay Bruce and his proven bat are headed back to the New York Mets.

The first nine seasons of Bruce's career came as a member of the Cincinnati Reds with whom he won a pair of Silver Sluggers and made the postseason on three separate occasions.

Bruce is expected to start alongside Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto.

It looks like big-hitting outfielder Jay Bruce is on his way back to Flushing. Santana's three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies is the largest.

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Mets fans can breathe a sign of relief.

"I'm happy", Mets ace Noah Syndergaard tweeted Wednesday night, with a "wackyBruce" hashtag. He was one of New York's most productive bats during that stretch, slugging 37 home runs and driving in 94 runs in what is the equivalent to nearly a full season of play in blue and orange.

The following off-season, many questioned whether the Texas native who had previously spent his entire professional career with the Reds could handle the NY spotlight. Bruce's signing could spark things back into motion as we are just about one month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. By the summer, general manager Sandy Alderson had traded away several pending free agents - Bruce among them - in an effort to shed payroll and acquire young arms. The returning Bruce played 11 games at first base last season and could cycle in at the position should Smith struggle or if the Mets want to feature Juan Lagares more.

Bruce is a.249 career hitter with 277 homers and 838 RBIs in 10 big league seasons. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN was the first to report the news.