It was just one sentence at the end of an article by Jon Heyman of the New York Post, but still worthy of note. Former Blue Jays player Jackie Bradley Jr. is expected to retire.
Bradley's time in Toronto was brief, consisting of just 40 regular season games (and one playoff appearance) after signing in Aug. 2022 following his release from the Red Sox. He did little offensively, producing just one home run and nine RBI as part of a .178/.250/.274 slash line and .524 OPS.
This represented a regression from the 2016 All-Star's offence during 91 games with the Red Sox prior to his release, albeit still not particularly impressive. He was much more impressive on defence, with him nominated for an AL Gold Glove Award.
And really, it is that nomination which is of most significance to what made Bradley stand out during his 11 years as a Major Leaguer. He is renowned as one of the very best defensive outfielder's of his generation.
Certainly, you don't last as long as the 2018 World Series champion did with his offensive inconsistency, if you don't bring something of value to the table. For him, it was his exceptional defensive play -- mostly from centre field -- helped by excellent athleticism and a tremendous throwing arm.
Not that Bradley didn't have his moments offensively as well, he was just too erratic with his bat. Arguably his best run at the plate came during the ALCS versus the Astros, when he had a 1.067 in five games and was named MVP of the series.
For his career, the 2011 first round draft pick had 109 home runs, 449 RBI and 361 walks in 1,181 regular season games. This contributed towards a .225/.303/.381 slash line and .684 OPS.
Surprisingly, Bradley's only defensive accolade of note was his one and only Gold Glove Award, in 2018. However, this doesn't take away from his reputation as a generational defensive talent.
Aside from the Blue Jays and Red Sox, the 33-year-old also played for the Brewers and Royals. While there is little indication of what he has planned post retirement, you imagine it will include spending more time with his wife and three children.