CF: Jackie Bradley Jr
This one should be clear and obvious to anyone that watches this team. Are there some options out on the market this winter? Better believe it. Are they all the quality of Jackie Bradley Jr? Absolutely not. Many fans will be chirping that the Red Sox should go out and get Geroge Springer, but I can’t agree with that sentiment. Springer is far and above the better hitter but nobody can patrol Fenway Park like JBJ. Plus the price tag for Springer will be ASTROnomical, see what I did there?
Bringing back Jackie instead of splashing a ton of cash for Springer is the right play here for the Red Sox. Not only is a familiar with Fenway, but he’s been a stalwart in the organization since his promotion in 2013, despite the team’s best efforts to ship him off. We saw Jackie hit the ball this year like he hasn’t done in some time, or possibly even ever. Add in the fact that he posted another Gold Glove caliber year in center, and he’d be a great addition for any team.
Boston has a great prospect in Jarren Duran seemingly chomping at the bit to get to the Majors but I’m not sure if he’s Opening Day ready. Earlier this year, I pegged Duran as the heir apparent to JBJ and I still believe that, but I’d like for him to have a year with Jackie to learn the ropes. It would also give Jackie a chance to leave Boston on a better note as the team is poised to be far more competitive in 2021.
If I’m Chaim Bloom, I set aside a majority of my budget to fix the pitching but leave enough to offer JBJ a respectable deal that he can sleep at night accepting. He was set to make $11M this year before the pandemic mangled the salary system, so I would stay in that realm for 2021. Something along the lines of 2 years/$24M would be perfect. Boston has the space thanks to resettign the CBT threshold and it’ll give the veteran a raise.