OF Jackie Bradley, Jr., Red Sox
After a scandal-ridden offseason with manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox are now being managed by former Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke and it hasn’t taken long for the wheels to fall off for Boston. They’re currently 6-17 with a payroll that’s in horrible shape and a roster that’s full of holes now.
They traded away superstar OF Mookie Betts in the winter because he was an upcoming free agent and they knew they couldn’t afford him. This August, perhaps they’ll trade away another star outfielder.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. was due to become a free agent at the same time as Betts, at the end of the 2020 season. Although Betts has now signed a massive extension with the Dodgers, Bradley is still scheduled to hit the open market this winter.
Since Lorenzo Cain opted out, the Brewers outfield depth has been put to the test. Ben Gamel isn’t producing like he was at the start of the season, and Ryan Braun isn’t able to play everyday. Adding Bradley would solve some of these problems.
Bradley is a Gold Glove defender in centerfield, just like Lorenzo Cain, and he would be an excellent stopgap solution while Cain is home with his family. He’s only under contract for this year, so the Brewers could pay a very small price tag for him and simply let him go in free agency this offseason.
His full season salary this year is $11MM, which means his prorated salary is at just over $4MM, and with the salary advance already paid out by MLB, he’s only getting $3,787,574 in game checks this year. Should the Brewers get him on the day of the trade deadline, they would only be on the hook for paying him for games in the month of September, which would come out to just over $1.6MM in salary added to the Brewers books.
Granted, this is a year where the Brewers are losing money no matter what, and it’s easy to say what’s another $1.6MM added to that when you aren’t the one paying for it. Still, adding Bradley to the roster at a fraction of his normal price, even just for a month, would be a big boost for the Brewers on the field.
Bradley has some power, although he doesn’t hit for a super high average and has been just under league-average when it comes to OPS+ the last few years. He won’t fully replace Lorenzo Cain’s offensive production, but he can bring the same kind of defensive skills while bringing in at least adequate offensive production that can put Avisail Garcia back in right field with Bradley in center.