Jackie Bradley Jr. Rumors: Phillies, Cubs, Blue Jays Interested in Red Sox FA

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2020

Boston Red Sox's Jackie Bradley Jr. plays against the Washington Nationals during a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Veteran outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is reportedly drawing interest from multiple teams in free agency this offseason.

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays have all expressed interest in the longtime Boston Red Sox center fielder.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire eight-year MLB career with the Red Sox after they selected him in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Bradley is best known for being one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, winning a Gold Glove award in 2018, which is also the year he helped lead Boston to a World Series title after winning the American League Championship Series MVP.

Although defense is his specialty, Bradley has some offensive ability as well, and he is coming off one of his best seasons at the plate.

During the coronavirus-shortened season of 2020, Bradley appeared in 55 games and compiled a .283/.364/.450ย slash lineย with seven home runs, 22 RBI, 32 runs scored and five steals.

While the sample size was small compared to a normal season, the left-handed hitter turned in his best offensive performance since 2016 when he hit .267 with a career-high 26 homers, 87 RBI and 94 runs scored en route to his only All-Star nod.

Bradley has some pop with double-digit home runs in five seasons and 20 or more homers twice, including 21 in 2019.

Getting on base has been an issue for Bradley for much of his career as evidenced by his .239 batting average and .321 on-base percentage, but he has 98 home runs, 376 RBI and 435 runs in 873 games.

Any of the aforementioned teams could benefit from having Bradley patrol center field in 2021 and beyond given their other options at the position.

Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley split time in center field for the Phillies last season, but they combined for just two home runs and 20 RBI.

The Cubs primarily used Ian Happ in center last season, but with Kyle Schwarber becoming a free agent, Chicago could improve its defense significantly by signing Bradley and moving Happ to left.

Toronto started Randal Grichuk in center last season, and while he is a solid player overall, he is far from a plus defender and would likely be better off at a corner outfield spot or at designated hitter.

Bradley's all-around game makes him a major asset on the free-agent market, and it appears he will have no shortage of options even with free agency getting off to a slow start this offseason.


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