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Former Phillie Jay Bruce makes Yankees opening day roster


Jay Bruce spent parts of two seasons with the Phillies. (Cheryl Pursell)

Jay Bruce, who spent parts of the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, has made the New York Yankees opening day roster, manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday. Bruce had been a non-roster invitee to major league spring training.

Bruce, who will turn 34 next weekend, appears to have benefitted in a way from first baseman Luke Voit needing surgery on his left meniscus, which is partially torn. Though Bruce mostly served as a corner outfielder, DH and pinch-hitter with the Phillies, he’s now in line to start at first base. Bruce will have big shoes to fill – at least on a temporary basis – as Voit led baseball with 22 home runs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

While he’s not going to hit for an especially high average at this stage of his career, Bruce homered 18 times in 241 at-bats during his time with the Phillies. Additionally, while the Yankees are rather deep in the outfield currently, Bruce had two defensive runs saved in 71.0 innings in left field this past season. So Bruce could play in the outfield if injuries occur, which they have rather frequently in the Bronx over the past few seasons.

A three-time All-Star, Bruce will make a base salary of $1.35 million this season, with additional incentives based on plate appearances, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The Yankees will be his sixth major league team, adding onto the Phillies, Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland and Seattle Mariners.

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