Red Sox should keep Jackie Bradley Jr. rather than sign George Springer
The Boston Red Sox should re-sign outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
With only three games left for the Boston Red Sox in the 2020 season, attentions will quickly turn towards the offseason and preparing for a full 2021 campaign. After a disappointing year, both on and off the field, there will be plenty of story lines for fans to keep their eyes on this winter. One of the biggest story lines will be long-time Red Sox favorite Jackie Bradley Jr. and his contract situation, as he becomes an unrestricted free agent ahead of next season.
If Bradley Jr. leaves, the Red Sox will have to pay to replace him. He’s just too valuable an asset to not have or replace.
Bradley Jr. was paid $11 million for this season. He’s been as reliable as ever in the field and has been one of Boston’s more consistent performers at the plate also, hitting .279 on the season. He’s among the elite defensively, and although streaky from the plate, he comes up in clutch moments regularly. Pair this with the time he’s spent in Boston and the effect he has on the clubhouse, then it should be a no-brainer to keep him here. This is why the Red Sox should look no further than Bradley Jr. this offseason.
There have been rumors linking Houston Astros outfielder George Springer to Boston for some time now. Since the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to Los Angeles, a lot of talks surrounded the potential players that the Sox could make a move for in the 2020 free agency market. But, if you don’t want to pay Betts then why are you going to pay a much lesser player in Springer? Sure, he won’t command the same amount of money, but he is going to be looking for that big contract.
Springer is nowhere near Bradley Jr. from a defensive standpoint. Hitting-wise, yes he is better on the whole, but he’s not currently that player he was from 2017 through 2019. It is a shortened season and it doesn’t mean much in the long-term, but what you’re going to get from Springer shouldn’t be something the Red Sox should be considering at this moment in time when you don’t even pay your own players what they’re worth.
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Bloom will be looking to strengthen from the bottom up, and that’s what needs to happen now that Betts has tied his contract up in LA. It’s time to move on to a new era, but it’s important that a core group remains through the Sox’s lineup. Having the likes of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers there is a great thing for this organization, but players with experience like JBJ are needed to keep the winning DNA in Boston.
This free agency class is far from the most exciting one we’ve seen in recent years so there’s no disappointment over the Red Sox’s unlikeliness to spend this winter. The last thing we need to see from this current situation is the front office giving an inferior player to what we’ve had in the past years a Jacoby Ellsbury-esque deal and setting the team further back than they already are.
Paying JBJ won’t require an ungodly amount of money, it’s just a smart, affordable, risk-free move – one that Bloom should be looking to make in order to make it easier on him over the next season or two. There’s plenty of talent in the Red Sox lineup to be competitive again next year and you’d expect pitching to be the main area that the Sox look to strengthen going forward. JBJ gives you that quality in the outfield and brings order to the bottom of the lineup, it’s something this team requires.