Pending free-agent center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was a trade candidate for the Red Sox leading up to the deadline, but he didn’t move and will stay with the out-of contention club until at least the end of the season. It turns out that the Red Sox were willing to entertain proposals for Bradley, but they didn’t receive any offers that convinced them to deal him, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
With the Red Sox sure to miss the playoffs, Bradley could be in his final month as a member of the franchise, which drafted him 40th overall back in 2011. The Red Sox do have interest in keeping the 30-year-old Bradley in the fold past 2020, though, according to chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
“We’d love to have him here for a long time,” Bloom said.
For his part, however, Bradley said Wednesday that the Red Sox haven’t expressed interest in a new deal to him, and he expects to reach the open market in a couple months, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe relays.
“I made it this far. Might as well become a free agent,” Bradley stated.
Unfortunately for Bradley, if he does reach the open market, it appears he’ll enter it on the heels of a lackluster platform year. High-end offense hasn’t often been a calling card for Bradley since he debuted in 2013, but the 80 wRC+ he has posted across 117 plate appearances this season ranks among the worst of his career. In all, Bradley has batted .248/.316/.352 with two home runs.
To Bradley’s credit, he has typically combined passable offense and above-average defense, so he should be in line for a guaranteed contract prior to 2021. It’s anyone’s guess whether that payday will come from the Red Sox, however.