3:45 pm: Even after today’s signing of Almora, the Mets haven’t closed the door on bringing in Bradley, hears Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
12:18 pm: Jackie Bradley Jr. stands out as the clear top remaining free agent option for teams looking for a center fielder. It’s not surprising the defensive stalwart seems to be drawing decent interest as spring training approaches. “About a half-dozen teams” remain in the running for Bradley, per Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The Mets have been among the teams most often connected to Bradley this offseason. New York agreed to terms with center fielder Albert Almora Jr. this morning, though. While Puma writes that the Almora addition “doesn’t necessarily” foreclose the Mets from continuing to pursue Bradley, Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News hears New York is indeed now out on the former Gold Glove winner.
That’s not to say the Almora signing ends the Mets’ offseason. Andy Martino of SNY reports that New York remains engaged in the market for free agent pitching and depth pieces on the position player side; they could yet make another addition (or additions) in the coming days, Martino says. Bradley, though, would’ve certainly been a more significant position player pickup than mere bench help. The 30-year-old is coming off a strong season and has apparently set the rather lofty goal of finding a contract of at least four years in length this winter.
Meanwhile, Buster Olney of ESPN relays speculation (Twitter link) from agents not affiliated with Bradley’s representatives at the Boras Corporation that the Astros, Giants and Red Sox appear his likeliest landing spots. All three teams have been connected to Bradley this offseason, although Olney wrote earlier this week that a return to Boston looked unlikely. That may still be the case, as a Red Sox reunion would seemingly only be in the cards if Bradley’s asking price falls due to an unfriendly market, Olney notes.