Jackie Bradley Jr. Rumors: OF 'Remains a Possibility' for Mets in Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

Boston Red Sox' Jackie Bradley Jr. watches his line drive soar to center field for a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
John Amis/Associated Press

There reportedly "remains a possibility" free-agent center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. signs with the New York Mets this offseason, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

As Abraham noted, one significant factor could be if the National League adds a designated hitter in 2021 as there was during the 2020 season.

The latest MLB agreement features no DH in the NL but there is still speculation the players and owners could agree to the change before the start of the regular season.

The Mets currently project to go into 2021 with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Dominic Smith manning the outfield. A change in rules could allow Smith to become a regular DH with Nimmo moving from center field to left field.

According to Fangraphs, Nimmo has five defensive runs saved in his career in left but has cost his teams 14 runs in center.

Bradley is much more accomplished in center field, totaling 48 defensive runs saved during his career at the position, per Fangraphs. He won the Gold Glove award in 2018.

The Mets added a defensive specialist this offseason in Albert Almora Jr., but he would be difficult to trust as an every-day player after hitting just .167 in 28 games last year.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Bradley would be much more reliable at the plate after slashing .283/.364/.450 last season. Though inconsistent offensively, the one-time All-Star hit 84 home runs in five seasons since becoming a full-time player for Boston.

Abraham also noted Bradley had a lot of success with Chili Davis as his hitting coach with Boston. Davis is going into his third year as the Mets hitting coach.