MAY 15: Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says there’s no truth to that trade proposal, Edes tweets. He adds that a member of one of the involved clubs was the source on his info.
MAY 14: The Mariners turned down a trade offer from the Red Sox in the spring that would’ve seen outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. go to Seattle in exchange for left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports (Twitter link).
Moving Bradley would’ve helped clear up the outfield surplus that the Sox are still dealing with, though there’s been less of a logjam for playing time than expected given some injuries and a few underperforming players. Furbush has posted solid numbers since 2012 and you have to think he would’ve upgraded a Boston bullpen that entered today with the second-lowest fWAR of any relief corps in the game. That said, Furbush’s 1.86 ERA this season is belied by some shaky peripherals numbers (.185 BABIP, 4.37 xFIP, 3.89 SIERA) so perhaps he might’ve struggled at Fenway Park. Furbush is on a one-year, $1.3MM deal and still has two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Offering Bradley for a good-but-not-elite setup reliever would’ve seemed unthinkable a year ago, when the outfielder was considered one of the consensus top prospects in the game. Over 530 MLB plate appearances in 2013-14, however, Bradley hit a measly .196/.268/.280, posting the second-lowest wRC+ (51) of any player in that stretch with at least 500 PA. The Sox have already seemed to have moved on to Mookie Betts as their center fielder of the future and signed Rusney Castillo to a $72.5MM contract.
It’s hard to see Bradley’s hitting numbers improving with a move to the notoriously pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, and clearly the Mariners had enough concern about his bat that they weren’t willing to pull the trigger on an ex-top prospect who is controllable through 2019. Bradley has shown himself to be a phenomenal defender, and could’ve potentially been a long-term answer in center with Austin Jackson scheduled for free agency after the season.