Red Sox Rumors: Execs Like Jackie Bradley Jr. to Return After Benintendi Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

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

The door appears to be open for Jackie Bradley Jr. to return to the Boston Red Sox following Andrew Benintendi's trade to the Kansas City Royals

Per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, two rival executives said they think the Red Sox are "likely" to re-sign Bradley. 

"It makes too much sense not to happen now," one of the executives told Feinsand. 

The Red Sox announced on Wednesday they traded Benintendi to the Royals as part of a three-team trade with the New York Mets. Boston is receiving Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski and three players to be named later in the deal. 

It had been assumed that the Red Sox weren't going to bring back Bradley in part because they had a crowded outfield prior to Wednesday's trade. 

Benintendi, Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe, Enrique Hernandez were in the mix for the three starting outfield spots. Hernandez is a versatile player who started games at every position except pitcher and catcher during his six-year run with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Verdugo has played center field when he was with the Dodgers, but he played last season as Boston's primary right fielder. Renfroe can play all three outfield positions, though he could slot in at left field if Bradley re-signs. 

There was also the matter of what kind of contract Bradley wants. Mike Puma of the New York Post reported last week that the 30-year-old wants a deal of at least four years. 

Puma also noted on Sunday that Bradley has received interest "from about a half-dozen teams."

Moving Benintendi creates a potential opening for Bradley to return to the organization that selected him in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft. He has hit .239/.321/.412 with 98 homers and 376 RBI in 873 games since making his big-league debut in 2013. 

Bradley won a World Series title and Gold Glove in 2018.