With rumors of Jackie Bradley Jr. being traded for a starting pitcher, could Ian Desmond fill the center field spot for the Boston Red Sox in 2017??
Happy Halloween Red Sox Nation! As the kids roam the streets and go house to house in search for candy, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski may be in search for a starting center fielder.
With the rumors of Jackie Bradley Jr. potentially being dealt for a quality starting pitcher, the Boston Red Sox are going to have to sign someone to fill in the former All Star’s starting position.
If Bradley Jr. is traded, could free agent center fielder Ian Desmond be the best option?
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Desmond, who signed a 1-year deal with the Texas Rangers last offseason, took full advantage of his “fresh start”. Desmond played in 156 games and had a slash of .285/.335/.446. Along with those impressive numbers, he showed off his speed in 2016 where he stole 22 bases.
Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo wrote about the option of Desmond coming to Boston.
"“He had an excellent season working on an $8 million bubble contract. The Rangers want to retain him, after he hit 22 homers, drove in 86 runs, and had a .782 OPS. Desmond can play first, shortstop, third base, and the outfield. The Red Sox could use Desmond as their righthanded Brock Holt at various positions and take advantage of his righty power at Fenway.”"
Cafardo brought up a great point in his article where Desmond is also a utility guy. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Sox to have another utility player alongside Brock Holt. It would give manager John Farrell more options to either give a player some rest or simply make the lineup stronger than it already is.
Desmond’s numbers show that he has already had success at Fenway Park. MassLive’s Christopher Smith wrote about how successful Desmond has been at Fenway.
"“He is 15-for-38 (.395) with a .410 on-base percentage, .605 slugging percentage, 1.016 OPS, three doubles, one homer, one triple and 10 RBIs in nine games at Fenway Park during his career”"
Granted, the amount of games played at Fenway Park is small. But it is still nice to see success in that small sample of games rather than failure.
Now, I know that Bradley Jr. had his best season so far in his young career, but would it be bad if he were traded and we got a player like Desmond, who had better numbers than him in 2016, to replace him?
Also, it seems like we would be gaining more than losing because if Bradley Jr. were to be traded, we would hopefully be getting a solid starting pitcher in return along with signing Desmond who, again, had a better season than JBJ.
Desmond would be a great fit for Boston due to the fact that he can play multiple positions and that he has shown consistency swinging the bat in the past, which is something we did not see from Bradley Jr.
We are just going to have to see what Dombrowski has up his sleeve throughout the offseason.