Chaim Bloom will be put to the test right away this offseason as the Boston Red Sox‘ new Chief Baseball Officer.
The Mookie Betts contract situation is enough to give any front office executive a headache, but one under-the-radar storyline in Boston this offseason will be what Bloom and the Red Sox brass decide to do about center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley is set to hit free agency after next season and will make $11 million in the final year of his contract. As the Red Sox look to shed payroll, they could look to deal their Gold Glove center fielder and find a more cost-effective replacement. In fact, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic believes it’s “all but certain” Boston will look to trade Bradley.
“One way or another, the Sox‘s new chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, will need to be creative. A trade of center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., projected to earn $11 million in his final year before free agency, seems all but certain. The Sox can replace him by dealing for the much more affordable Jake Marisnick – manager Alex Cora previously was Marisnick’s bench coach with the Astros – and pursuing a relatively inexpensive free-agent first baseman such as switch-hitter Justin Smoak to replace free agents Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce.”
Marisnick would be a reasonable replacement for Bradley given his stellar defensive ability, but if he indeed comes to Boston, don’t expect an offensive upgrade. The 28-year-old hit .233 with 10 home runs and a .700 OPS last season.
Bradley enjoyed another sensational season in the field in 2019, though he again struggled at the plate hitting just .225 with 21 homers and a .738 OPS.
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Report: Red Sox trading Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘all but certain’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston