Red Sox Rumors: Jackie Bradley Jr. Still On Boston’s Radar

The Boston Red Sox are not ruling out bringing back Jackie Bradley Jr. for next season. Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran said this past week the club is still keeping tabs on the centerfielder.

“Jackie is definitely on our radar,” Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran said during a Zoom call Monday. “We’ve all seen what Jackie’s been able to do over the years so certainly a guy that we, to use your terminology, we’ll absolutely keep on our radar and see where it goes.”

First Time Free Agent

Bradley Jr. who is on the open market for the first time in his career spent eight years in Boston. The lefty handed streaky hitter is coming off a 2020 season in which he batted .283. He had seven home runs, knocking in 22 RBIs in 217 plate appearances across 55 games.

While he remains on the Red Sox radar, other teams have contacted Bradley to express interest in his services.”I definitely have been able to hear from a couple of teams,” Bradley Jr. said on Will Middlebrooks and Danny Vietti CBS Sports podcast.

The former Red Sox outfielder and George Springer are the two top centerfield options in free agency. It seems unlikely the Red Sox will invest in Springer and part ways with the draft pick compensation attached to him. Which leaves Bradley Jr. as an option to bring back on a potential short term deal.

Jarren Duran is Waiting in the Wings

The Red Sox have Jarren Duran in the minors who is close to taking the next step and potential man centerfield for Boston. The 24-year-old Duran could be the future replacement for Bradley Jr.

“Looking at Jarren in particular, it’s a tough one in a good way, because he had a tremendous 2020,” said the Red Sox’ Chief Baseball Officer. “He made strides hitting wise and physically, didn’t lose any of his speed. He just had a really good year. I think for all players who didn’t play at the major league level, and even for some of those who did – because we had a shorter season – it’s tougher to feel confident in exactly what you know about them.”

What Should the Red Sox Do?

The Red Sox will address their outfield situation this offseason and potentially at the virtual Winter Meetings. While there is one future internal option, the team could bridge the transition to Duran with one more year of Bradley Jr.

Bradley Jr. has been responsible for flashing his glove in the outfield over the years. Red Sox fans have been supportive of the former centerfielder and would welcome him back.

When free agency began, it felt as if Bradley Jr. was going to depart for a new opportunity. While free agency continues to play at a slow pace, it could shape up for Bloom to strike and bring him back. Even though he remains on the team’s radar, one question remains, does he even want to come back?

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