PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Where Mickey Callaway goes, Jay Bruce follows.
OK, not really. But it is a nice coincidence that Bruce, who spent the second half of last season with the Indians, was reunited Thursday with Callaway, Cleveland’s former pitching coach.
Like reliever Anthony Swarzak, Bruce is among the few on the Mets’ roster who have previous experience with Callaway, and the outfielder was able to give a small scouting report on the Mets’ new manager.
“He’s a normal dude,” Bruce said. “He’s a little younger and he’s going to be able to do what’s necessary here as far as really creating a relationship with the team. He’s not a big rule guy, but he expects a lot out of you because he expects a lot out of himself — preparation and working hard. Being prepared is paramount to him, and I think as long as you do that, there’s not going to be any issues. He’s going to be a great guy to play for.”
Mets sign den Dekker
Matt den Dekker is a Met again.
The team signed the 30-year-old outfielder to a minor-league contract Thursday. With Michael Conforto starting the season on the disabled list, the Mets are in need of depth at that position — behind Yoenis Cespedes in left, Jay Bruce in right and Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares in center. They had even floated using Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes in the outfield if necessary.
Den Dekker played a total of 80 games with the Mets in the 2013 and 2014 seasons and was traded to the Nationals in 2015 for Jerry Blevins. He hit .250 in Triple-A with the Tigers’ and Marlins’ organizations in 2017.