Yankees outfielder/first baseman will retire after Sunday’s game against the Rays, as he announced in a post on the Twitter account of The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Sunday morning:
Jay Bruce announces his retirement. pic.twitter.com/bJNmt0ASpO— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 18, 2021
Bruce came up with the Reds in 2008, joining a wave of highly-regarded prospects including Joey Votto, Drew Stubbs, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey that debuted in the late 2000s. He was a three-time All-Star in Cincinnati and helped the Reds reach the playoffs three times during his tenure. He was dealt to the Mets at the trade deadline in 2017 and ultimately had a pair of stints in Queens, also playing for the Indians, Mariners, and finally the Yankees along the way. While he didn’t have fantastic contact or on-base skills, he always had a penchant for the long ball and hit 20 or more homers in 10 different seasons.
Bruce joined the Yankees as a non-roster invitee this spring and made the team after Luke Voit went down with a meniscus tear. Bruce was the team’s Opening Day first baseman, but as he posted a .118/.231/.235 slash line through his first 31 plate appearances, manager Aaron Boone shifted toward a defensive alignment that included DJ LeMahieu at first base and newly-acquired Rougned Odor at second, with Bruce losing playing time as a result.
Bruce’s retirement won’t become official until after Sunday’s game, and while he’s not in the starting lineup for his final game as a major leaguer, it’s possible that he’ll get a pinch-hit opportunity and have one more chance to soak it all in.