It’s no secret, you guys — the Boston Red Sox need to find a legit power bat this winter. It also no secret as to the person they’re pursuing to help fill that void. No American League team hit fewer home runs (168) or had a lower ISO (.149) than Boston in 2017, and perhaps no team appears to be more of a perfect match for current free agent J.D. Martinez than the Red Sox. One problem here, though — other than the front office having to deal with Scott Boras — is the fact that Martinez has expressed a desire to sign as an outfielder despite his poor advanced defensive metrics. Already armed with a very talented and young outfield, that’d mean one of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, or Jackie Bradley Jr. could very well be packing their bags in advance of 2018. From all the reports we’ve seen, Bradley is the most likely to switch uniforms if Boston has to make such a move. Despite following a breakout year in 2016 (119 wRC+, .219 ISO, 5.0 fWAR) by taking a step back in 2017 (90 wRC+, .158 ISO, 2.3 fWAR), Bradley is still a valuable commodity on the trade market. After all, there aren’t many center fielders with the ability to hit 20-plus homers while playing above-average defense and being under team control at an affordable price through the 2020 season. With that in mind, let’s see which of the following six teams make the most sense for him in a hypothetical trade scenario. A handful of the following squads have had a reported interest in acquiring Bradley, while a couple others in particular could be a good fit, speculatively speaking. San Francisco Giants Potential Need? The need here is pretty obvious, don’t you think? San Francisco just shipped out their 2017 starting center fielder, Denard Span, to Tampa Bay as part of the Evan Longoria trade. Even if he didn’t get dealt, though, Span probably wasn’t going to be holding down the same job this upcoming season because his average offense was negated by horrific defense. Without him around, the only current Giants outfielder with a Steamer projection greater than 0.0 fWAR is Hunter Pence (1.4). Potentional Fit? While San Francisco is retooling for another run at contention after a 98-loss season, they’ve made a couple moves to stay under the luxury tax threshold. In addition to ridding themselves of Span’s contract, they also recently dealt starting pitcher Matt Moore to the Texas Rangers. So, with a clear need and desire to upgrade their center field situation, Bradley is the perfect combination of effective and cheap ($5.9 million projected 2018 salary through arbitration). The only problem is putting together an attractive prospect package to make a deal, which will be harder after sending three minor leaguers — including Christian Arroyo — to the Rays in exchange for Longoria.
Top potential trade destinations for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Yardbarker | Dec 26