Red Sox are tendering a 2020 contract to center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

With the deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration-eligible players arriving tonight at 8 pm ET, it looks as though the Red Sox will offer one to JBJ.

As the deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts to arbitration players fast approaches, there have been questions as to whether or not the Red Sox would reach out to center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Earlier on, these doubts looked like they were put to bed, as Alex Speier, of the Boston Globe, tweeted out that the Sox would, in fact, be tendering a contract to JBJ.

The news came just before the announcement that the Sox had traded catcher Sandy Leon to the Cleveland Indians for minor league prospect Adenys Bautista. Leon was expected to be non-tendered if he had not been traded by the deadline. So it’s a positive that the Sox could get something out of that.

As for JBJ, the tender comes just hours before the deadline. He remains in Boston for now, which will be to the delight of so many fans, however, this doesn’t mean that he’ll remain here for the foreseeable future.

Since Chaim Bloom has come into the organization, and the reshuffling of the roster has become ever so evident, JBJ’s future as a Red Sox player has been one of the key areas of uncertainty surrounding this side. Of course, Mookie Betts‘ contract situation is the number one area, but there are plenty of other key players, like Jackie that could potentially be on their way out.

Bradley Jr. is projected to make $11 million over the course of the 2020 season – a sum which the new hierarchy will be skeptical about, whilst trying to cut the payroll as much as they can in order to sneak under the luxury tax.

Right now, it looks as though the option of parting ways with perhaps the greatest defensive outfielder in baseball seems too painful even for this no-nonsense front office. But, expect trade rumors surrounding JBJ to be an ongoing topic of discussion from now on. Which shouldn’t be a surprise considering we hear about trade rumors every year in regards to Jackie.

If the Sox do decide to try to make a trade for JBJ become a reality, there’ll certainly be many sides who’ll be very high on getting a deal done. The 2018 Gold Glove winner has a ton of value from a defensive standpoint. Hitting-wise, there’s no doubt that JBJ can help a team out.

His ALCS MVP performance from just over a year ago speaks for itself. The ongoing thing with Jackie though has been consistency. He’s been an up and down, streaky hitter for just about his entire career.

Bradley Jr. averaged .225, tallied 62 RBI and hit 21 home runs on the 2019 season. Although there were long periods of time where he didn’t hit well, he still did his part at the plate, and he produced a decent amount for his side.

Next: Red Sox trade Sandy Leon to Cleveland

Defensively, he’s one of the best in the game, so there’s no doubt there’ll be a market for him. Giving up JBJ would be a big decision, it could help in the long-term in terms of assets, but right now giving up a player of his caliber seems like a decision that should really think about, and hopefully, that’s what Bloom and co. are doing by tendering him a contract for 2020.