Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and left-handed outfielder Jay Bruce, who is somehow just 33-years-old, are in agreement on a MiLB deal:
Bruce, most recently a Phillie, will offer the Yankees some left-handed depth in the system, though I doubt he’ll get much playing time as a regular even if he makes the big league squad. After all, he’s played in just 224 games since the start of the 2018 campaign, logging a .217/.282/.448 (95 OPS+) over about 800 plate appearances. The Yankees have many better options and it’s doubtful he logs much time in the OF, barring another year of injury catastrophes.
That said, I can see a role for Bruce. One potential interesting nugget: even last year, when he struggled, Bruce hit right-handed pitchers well. It was just a small sample (fewer than 100 AB) but he was markedly better against RHP than LHP – a trend that is mostly consistent throughout his career. He also hit fastballs decently hard overall in 2020.
The point of this quick analysis is to say it’s not hard to see him as a roster upgrade over Mike Ford. He plays some 1B and DH and might be a pinch-hitting option off the bench against a FB-heavy RHP in certain situations. It is unlikely that Bruce ever returns to his 2010-13 peak, when he logged a 120 OPS+ in ~2500 PA, but he could end up being a serviceable backend roster upgrade. And, if not, no harm, no foul.