The Boston Red Sox have released outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., the team announced Thursday.
The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams first reported the move.
Boston acquired first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Tommy Pham prior to the MLB trade deadline Tuesday, and McWilliams noted that Pham's arrival "apparently made Bradley expendable, with the Sox choosing to go with Jarren Duran as the everyday center fielder."
Duran led off and started in center for Wednesday's 6-1 defeat to the Houston Astros.
The move ends Bradley's second stint in Boston. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018 and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021. Bradley was traded back to Boston prior to the start of this season.
For the most part, Bradley has been a below-average hitter. He sports a .695 OPS and an 85 OPS+ over 10 seasons, per Baseball Reference. This year has been more of the same as he's hitting .210 with a .257 on-base percentage.
The 32-year-old remains a good defender, though, and was the Red Sox's best defensive option in center.
Duran's challenges in the field are encapsulated by this clip from Boston's 28-5 drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays last month. What could've been a routine fly ball by Raimel Tapia became an inside-the-park grand slam:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Jarren Duran lost the ball and let up an inside-the-park grand slam for the Blue Jays 😨 <a href="https://twitter.com/BRWalkoff?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BRWalkoff</a><br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/Sportsnet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Sportsnet</a>)<a href="https://t.co/3XgIw6oKUu">pic.twitter.com/3XgIw6oKUu</a>
The Red Sox are 53-53 and in last place in the American League East. While they're only three games off the final wild-card spot, trading Christian Vazquez to the Houston Astros offsets the acquisitions of Hosmer and Pham. Boston doesn't appear to be aggressively pursuing a wild-card berth.
The front office might prefer to see if Duran, who turns 26 in September and is under team control through 2027, improves as the season winds down.
Getting designated for assignment by the Sox allows Bradley to potentially catch on with a contender for the stretch run. While he may not be a good everyday outfielder, he can provide value in a limited role.
Bradley's defense could be helpful in late innings when a team is trying to secure a win, and using him situationally can keep him away from left-handed pitching. Per FanGraphs, he has a .191 wOBA against lefties and a .271 wOBA against right-handers.