Boston Red Sox avoid arbitration with deals for eligible players

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mookie Betts /
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Red Sox
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 03: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox makes a diving catch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 3, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley will see his salary rise from $6.1 million to $8.8 million next season. He was projected for only $7.9 million.

Bradley is as frustrating as ever to watch at the plate. He hit a meager .234 with a .717 OPS this season but still showed flashes of the potential that made him an All-Star in 2016. He was also much better in the second half, hitting .269 with a .827 OPS after the break.

The batting average remained low throughout the postseason yet Bradley earned the ALCS MVP for bashing a pair of home runs and driving in nine RBI against the Houston Astros. He may tally many hits but he sure knows when to make them count!

The 28-year old has always been known more for his glove than his bat. Bradley finally earned a Gold Glove for his stellar defensive play.

Bradley is one of the core members of this team hitting the free agent market next year. While his inconsistent offensive production may make him more expendable, there’s no replacing JBJ’s defense. He’ll also be cheaper than some of the other free agents the Red Sox need to worry about, making him easier to retain for a team facing payroll concerns.