Red Sox: Familiar faces in free agency could bolster Boston’s lineup
Former Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
This is easily one of the ones that I hope happens the most out of my list, but it feels like it’s one hell of a longshot. Toward the end of his time in Boston, it felt like Jackie Bradley Jr. couldn’t get out of town fast enough, and not due to anything of his own doing. It was never a secret that the Red Sox wanted to trade JBJ as he was in any and every rumor imaginable each year. Nothing would ever come to fruition though and he saw his contract out to the final day.
Why do I think this may be a long shot? If the team that you played for was actively trying to get rid of you every year for your entire Major League career, would you want to return? I surely wouldn’t, but then again this situation is one that could be a win-win. It brings JBJ back to a city and team he knows which would also allow him to not shake his family up, while the Red Sox know exactly what they’re getting with him.
Now, we’ve heard the talks that the team and JBJ have been in contact with one another, while we’ve also heard that Boston is openly having trade talks for Andrew Benintendi. If the Red Sox do send Benny Biceps out of town then they’ll officially be without all three members of their championship-winning outfield.
The problem facing Bloom would be that he only has Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe if Benintendi is traded. Turns out you need more than two outfielders if you want to be successful in this league.
Of the two, JBJ and Benny, I’d much rather have Jackie right now. He had a hell of a 2020, crushing it in spring training, summer camp, and the regular season where he slashed .283/.364/.450/.814 with 7 homers and 22 RBI.
Interestingly enough, it was one of Bradley’s best seasons in his career and could earn him a solid contract this winter. Considering what he did during the COVID wrecked campaign and the fact that he’s still a wizard on defense, I’d love to have him back in centerfield.
Something in the way of 2-years/$18M shaves some money off of the budget for the Red Sox while keeping JBJ in the ballpark of what he was supposed to earn in 2020 before the salary adjustments. As a guy that’s given his all for this team while not always getting that love back from the organization, I’d love to see him finish out his playing days in Boston.