Expect Jay Bruce to be back in New York in 2017.Getty Images

The Mets are looking forward and shoring up their outfield will be top priority as the offseason begins in Queens.

With Yeonis Cespedesperhaps expected to go elsewhere next season — he can opt out of the final two years of his deal — the Mets will need a power bat. Jay Bruce, who left a little to be desired in stretches during the 2016 season, is likely to return, Adam Rubin reports.

“Bruce provides a quality hedge against Yoenis Cespedes' departure and can always be traded if Cespedes returns and there ends up being a surplus of corner outfielders,” ESPN'sRubin wrote. “Remember, Curtis Granderson is under contract for another season, and there's little need for Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo to head back to the minors. The Mets also have Juan Lagares signed through 2019.”

The outfielder has a $13 million option and hit .480 down the stretch after starting his Mets career hitting .172 in his first 42 games.

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