Jay Bruce appears to be nearing a return to the NL East.
First reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Seattle Mariners are closing in on a deal that would send Bruce to the Philadelphia Phillies. Passan originally reported that a deal could be finalized in the next 24 hours. USA Today's Bob Nightengale followed up on the report saying the deal was "close to the finish line."
The 32-year old veteran was traded to Seattle by the Mets as part of the package that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to New York. Bruce is hitting just .212 this season for Seattle, but he's put up solid power numbers, belting 14 home runs in 47 games.
Bruce would likely be a bench piece for the Phillies, who currently lead the NL East by 3.0 games over the Braves and 5.0 games over the Mets. The Phillies are in need of outfield depth, especially after starting center fielder Odubel Herrera was placed on administrative leave following an arrest on domestic violence charges.
Bruce spent parts of three seasons with the Mets, appearing in 247 games while batting .237 with 46 home runs. 2017 was his best year in Queens, when he slugged 29 home runs before being traded to Cleveland. He returned to the Mets on a three-year deal in 2018, but was eventually sent to Seattle.
The Mariners are said to be 'in deep sell mode," and there are some intriguing names that could possibly even make sense for the Mets, including Dee Gordon, Mike Leake, Tim Beckham, Ryon Healy, and Edwin Encarnacion, though Encarnacion is mainly a DH at this point in his career and doesn't seem suited for the National League.