NEW YORK — Outfielder Jay Bruce agreed Saturday to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees and will try to win a job at big league spring training.
The 33-year-old has an opportunity as a left-handed bat in a primarily right-handed lineup. The Yankees’ outfield features switch-hitter center fielder Aaron Hicks and right-handed-hitting right fielder Aaron Judge.
Clint Frazier, another right-handed hitter, is the top candidate for left field, with Michael Tauchman and Tyler Wade, both left-handed hitters, also contenders but more likely to spend time as backups.
Brett Gardner became a free agent and is talking to the Yankees, but the team and the 37-year-old left-handed hitter have been apart on money. Gardner joined the Yankees in 2008 and had been their longest-tenured player.
Bruce hit .198 with six homers and 14 RBIs for Philadelphia in 96 at-bats during the pandemic-shortened season. He is a three-time All-Star with a .245 average, 318 home runs and 948 RBI during 13 big league seasons with the Reds (2008-15), the Mets (2016-18), Indians (2018), Mariners (2019) and Phillies.