Former Mariners outfielder and DH, Jay Bruce, just announced that he will retire after today’s game against the Rays. Although the 34-year-old only played 47 games in a Mariners uniform, he had a deep connection with the Mariners before he even began his professional career.
Jay Bruce was a big fan of Ken Griffey Jr.
One of the cool stories about Bruce was his obsession over “The Kid.” When he was 9 years old, Bruce called the Kingdome and asked for Ken Griffey Jr. He wasn’t able to talk to Griffey over the phone, but he ended up playing with him on the Reds. So, it’s almost fitting that Jay Bruce was able to put on a Mariners uniform like his favorite player did.
Jay Bruce with the Mariners
Bruce joined the Mariners as part of the Jarred Kelenic package from the Mets in exchange for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. After the trade was complete, we knew Jay Bruce wasn’t going to be in T-Mobile Part for very long. The Mariners had no need for a veteran outfielder and DH, plus the M’s were trying to shed salaries.
As a Mariner, Bruce hit .212 with a .816 OPS. The three-time All-Star hit 14 home runs and drove in 28 RBIs. Since Bruce proved that he still had something left in the tank, the M’s were able to trade him to the Phillies for Jake Scheiner.
Jay Bruce’s MLB career
The Texas native owns a career 20.0 WAR, .244 batting average, .781 OPS, 319 home runs, and 951 RBIs. Jay won’t end up in Cooperstown, but he will most likely be in the Reds Hall of Fame. He spent nine years in Cincinnati and hit 233 home runs for the Reds.
He made the All-Star team three times wearing the white and red uniform, while also finishing 10th in MVP voting twice. Bruce is the perfect example of a home run hitter who struck out often and arguably was at the forefront of that movement.
We wish Jay Bruce and his family the best!