Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez said Tuesday former teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. told him he's waiting for a team to "take the next step" in free agency.
Bradley told Martinez he has a couple of standing offers but nothing that's enticed him to sign, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.
The 30-year-old outfielder spent his first eight MLB seasons with the Red Sox. He earned an All-Star selection in 2016 and won a Gold Glove Award in 2018 when the franchise won its ninth World Series title.
Bradley posted a .283/.364/.450 triple-slash line with seven home runs and five stolen bases across 55 games in 2020. His .814 OPS was the third-highest mark of his career.
Along with his production at the plate, he's a strong defender with a vast majority of his experience in center field. His 48 defensive runs saved in center since 2013 rank 18th among all fielders, per FanGraphs.
Given that track record, it's a bit surprising he didn't sign a contract before spring training started.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported Monday there are about six teams interested in Bradley, but the report didn't provide an indication about whether a deal was close.
Bradley is arguably the best player still on the market, and interest in him could skyrocket should injury concerns arise around the league during the early stages of spring training.
There are still five weeks until the start of the regular season, so preparation time isn't yet a major concern, but that could change if hit stint in free agency last much longer.
The question may be whether he's willing to lower his asking price if no team takes the "next step" he's waiting for as the season draws closer.