Mets OF Jay Bruce said manager Mickey Callaway was involved in the final stages of the process before he returned to the Mets on a three-year deal worth $39 million.
"He was actually kind of the one who started the final conversations before this thing all kind of took place," Bruce told SNY's Gary Apple on Wednesday. "He gave me a call and kind of said 'we're in.'"
Bruce added that Callaway impressed him during his time in Cleveland, when Callaway was the team's pitching coach.
"I think that him kind of taking his time to create a relationship and make a relationship with players other than just the pitchers over there, kind of made me remember that," Bruce said. "It made me think, 'man, he didn't have to do that. He didn't have to get to know the other guys.' And I think that was a huge deal for me."
Regarding his role in 2018, Bruce echoed Sandy Alderson's sentiments, saying his durability "speaks volumes." Bruce also wants to be a player who leads by example, but is also an "open book."
"I want them to know that they can trust me," he said about his teammates.
Meanwhile, while Bruce played some first base last year, he made it a point to say how tough the transition was. And while he's open to playing at first base, the Mets have suggested to him that he won't play there unless it's in "a pinch."