Blue Jays should ask about Jackie Bradley Jr. as BoSox work with the cap

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 26: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 26, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 26: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 26, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Blue Jays could use a centre field upgrade and the Red Sox could use some salary relief to get under the cap. Could there be a match?

I’m not one who likes to see the Blue Jays making trades within their own division, but every now and then it makes sense. I believe there could be an opportunity for a situation like that in front of them right now.

After the news on Monday that J.D. Martinez will not exercise his opt-out and instead will remain in Boston for at least one more season, the Red Sox have to be thrilled that they’ll be keeping arguably their best pure hitter. That said, with a rumoured goal of getting under the luxury tax line this off-season, Martinez’s 22 million on their books means they’re going to have to get creative, especially if they want to retain Mookie Betts as well.

Enter Jackie Bradley Jr., who has one year and 11 million remaining on his current contract. That’s not an ideal situation for the Blue Jays when it comes to filling their centre field spot, but the acquisition cost could be pretty small if the Red Sox view Bradley Jr. as the expendable piece. Look at what the Blue Jays just found in Chase Anderson for the meagre cost of a middling MiLB prospect.

More from Jays Journal

The Blue Jays or any other acquiring team would be hoping for a bit of a bounce back season from the 30 year old, as he slashed just .225/.317/.421 last year, adding 22 home runs, 28 doubles, and 62 RBI in 147 games played. The effort was good for 2.0 bWAR, which was his lowest total since his first full season in 2014. He also hit a peak value of 5.5 bWAR in 2016 when he was an All-Star.

He might not have that type of ceiling any longer, but his fit in Toronto could be a decent one given his profile. He won a Gold Glove for his defensive work in 2018, and he was still rated as a 0.4 dWAR defender in 2019, something the Blue Jays could use up the middle. His left-handed bat with a bit of pop could also help balance a fairly right-heavy lineup as well.

As I said above though, the fact that Bradley Jr. has just one year remaining on his contract will likely be the biggest factor working against a trade like this coming together. Admittedly he would be a better fit on a contending team, however, if the Red Sox can’t find an interested party of that description then that’s when the Blue Jays should swoop in with an offer.

I’m not suggesting the Blue Jays should give up much here at all, but if the Red Sox end up feeling the payroll pinch and decide to cut bait with Bradley Jr. for something like what the Brewers got for Anderson, why not roll the dice and see what happens? If he works out then he could bee an extension candidate for a few years, or he could be turned into a useful trade piece in July. If he doesn’t, the acquisition cost should be minimal and the Blue Jays should have money to spend.

Next. It looks like Vlad Jr. is already hard at work. dark

If nothing else, the fact that Martinez opted in to his contract with the Red Sox is a good example of how the market is very fluid and that things can change in a hurry. With that in mind, hopefully the Blue Jays are ready to pounce on the next opportunity that presents itself, whether that’s with the Red Sox or not.

facebooktwitterreddit