Reds officially announce contract extension for Bruce - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reds officially announce contract extension for Bruce

Jay Bruce Jay Bruce

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Reds have officially announced that they have reached an agreement with Jay Bruce that will keep the outfielder in a Reds uniform until at least 2016.

The deal is worth $51 million and includes an option for 2017 that could push the deal to $63 million. The contract also has an option for a $1 million buyout.

ESPN.com reported the contract last week, but it wasn't confirmed by the Reds until Tuesday.

"We recognize Jay as one of the exceptional young players who form the foundation of our team," General Manager Walt Jocketty said. "He's an example of how we are committed to building our organization from within, first by drafting good players and then by holding onto and building around them."

Following last season, Bruce became eligible for arbitration under Major League Baseball's "Super 2" guidelines.

Bruce opted for the long-term deal and pushed back chances at salary arbitration and free agency for several reasons.

"The owners' commitment to the organization means a lot of the players," said Bruce, Cincinnati's No. 1 pick in the June 2005 draft. "The financial security is great, but hopefully, we'll be having a lot of fun for seven-plus years down the road. Walt has put together the pieces to keep this going for a long time."

Bruce also pointed out he'll still be in his prime when the deal expires.

"I'll be in a great position when the contract ends in the future," he said.

In 148 games for the Reds in 2010 he hit .281 with 25 HR, 70 RBI and 5 stolen bases. His dramatic walk-off home run against the Astros on Sept. 28 clinched the NL Central Division for the Reds.

At age 23, Bruce already has 68 career home runs and 180 RBI over three seasons in the majors. According to Elias Sports Bureau, among all active players under the age of 24 he ranks first in HR and second in RBI.

"Its been a lot of fun to be a part of this organization, and hopefully it's going to be fun for the next seven years," said Bruce.

The Reds' first pick (12th overall) of the June 2005 first-year player draft, Bruce was Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year in 2007. The following season he made his Major League debut and finished fourth among rookies in the National League's Jackie Robinson Award voting and was a TOPPS Major League Rookie All-Star.

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