Three teams who should be pursuing Jackie Bradley Jr

Jackie Bradley at the plate
Where will Jackie Bradley land in free agency? Photo from The Boston Globe.

The Boston Red Sox have deconstructed their latest World Series winning team. Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s free agency is the latest episode in the tear down of the 2018 champions.

Bradley hits the free agent market in what is an average class. There’s limited competition centrefielder competition, but the pandemic, and increasingly tight owners, mean that finding a new team will not be easy.

There’s already been interest in the Red Sox outfielder, though a slow-moving offseason could signal a long wait before a contract is signed.

Speaking on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, Bradley said, “I definitely have been able to hear from a couple teams. That’s good to know that there’s definitely interest — and interest from multiple teams.”

Which teams have shown interest in Bradley is unknown at this stage. While it’s unclear what sort of guaranteed money Bradley will land as a free agent, a multi-year deal seems likely even in this COVID-impacted offseason. MLB Trade Rumors predict Bradley to go for two years and $16 million. Would he consider a one-year, higher value deal and hope to sign long-term as a 31-year-old next offseason?

The Red Sox have shown interest in bringing Bradley back, but Boston has been keen to cut payroll and could easily get outbid this winter. Here are three teams who should be pursuing the one-time All-Star in free agency…

Rockies

Rumours of a Nolan Arenado trade are bubbling again. The Rockies’ decision to non-tender David Dahl does not suggest an ownership group willing to spend heavily this offseason, but there’s no doubt Bradley would look good roaming the vast outfield in Denver.

Between Dahl, Kevin Pillar and Garrett Hampson, the Rockies ranked 29th in wins above average from centre last season. Charlie Blackmon‘s days in centre are long gone, and he would benefit from an elite defender alongside him.


Bradley isn’t a signing that would take the Rockies over the top. It’s a roster that needs a lot of work to compete with the Padres, let alone the Dodgers, but Bradley would be a solid pickup.

Blue Jays

Randal Grichuk manned centre for the Blue Jays last season. He had a good year on offence after a down year in 2019. Defensively, though, it was very ugly. Grichuk possesses above average speed, but that didn’t translate to plus-defence. He ranked 33rd percentile in outfielder jump and 20th percentile in outs above average,

Maybe this is a blip for a player who has usually been a positive defensively. Although Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.have some good-looking offensive projections, the Jays’ outfield could do with a boost on the defensive side of the ball.

Bradley doesn’t have the upside of that trio, but his defence would be a massive upgrade. Maybe Hernandez and Gurriel can get time at DH if Vladimir Guerrero Jr.is going to get more reps at third.

Astros

George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick are free agents. The Astros need an outfielder or two, and Bradley is one of the better options on the market if Houston doesn’t want to cough up for Springer and/or Marcell Ozuna.

This is a straight forward one, really. Houston has to add outfielder(s) somehow, and Bradley is one of the best on the market. He’s the only pure centrefielder out there besides Springer, and he could come for less than a fifth of the cost.

It’s a wait and see situation for the ‘Stros. Bradley only becomes a priority if it’s clear Springer’s future lies elsewhere.

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About Sam Cox 650 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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