Where does Jackie Bradley go?
The depth chart shows Bradley drifting somewhere towards the bottom of the Marianas Trench. The signing of Rusney Castillo for seven years of servitude in Boston makes the shelf life of the heir apparent to Jacoby Ellsbury a soon to be distant memory. Even fast-rising Mookie Betts has lapped Bradley.
Bradley degraded as the season progressed to the point where he was shuffled off to Pawtucket – a beautiful place to spend the few remaining weeks of a season that was a disaster. A line of .211/.211/.368 will not cut it – and those are his Pawtucket numbers. Ouch!
Bradley is gone. That is just about a given. Unfortunately his value is about that of a six-pack of Diet Coke. But this is baseball! Someone is always willing to give another shot to a once hot-shot prospect and one that at least has half the game, defense, down pat.
My choice is the Chicago Cubs. The senior management is, no doubt, vaguely familiar with Bradley and if they’d take Felix Doubront, they may take Bradley. Player to be named later, repeat?
The Cubs outfield has Justin Ruggiano, old friend Ryan Sweeney, someone called Arismendy Alcantara and Chris Coghlan. Seems they have some issues in the OF. I ran a quick glance at the stat lines and I see no Mike Trout-type numbers, but I do see some Bradley numbers. The big boppers in their system are all infielders. May Bradley get a second chance in Chicago?
The Cubs may also be in the mode to open up the vault – both fiscal and prospect – and make a run at Giancarlo Stanton. Bradley in CF would certainly cover some ground and with the NL I go with my ingrained AL prejudice and say you can float a Bradley and pinch hit late in the game for him.
A change of scenery just may be what the hitting doctor orders for Bradley. A fresh start.