AL East

Red Sox Trade For Jackie Bradley Jr.

Red Sox trade for JBJ
Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. runs to the dugout after the eighth inning against the Tigers, Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Detroit.

Right before the MLB’s CBA expired last Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox made a somewhat shocking move. They traded gold glove finalist, Hunter Renfroe, to the Milwaukee Brewers, for old friend Jackie Bradley Jr. Along with Bradley, came two of Milwaukee’s top 30 prospects, infielders David Hamilton and Alex Binelas. Hamilton hit .258 with eight homers and 11 triples in 101 games across multiple levels of the minors.

However, he may be known for his speed above all else. Playing with an independent league Texas team, in 2020, he was 20 for 20 in stolen base attempts, in 27 games. In his first full league in the minors, he swiped 52 bags. Alex Binelas is a power hitting lefty, who plays mostly third, but has spent some time at first. In his first pro season, spent between rookie and single-A, he hit .309, with 9 homers, in 36 games.

What Does This Mean For Boston?

Everyone knows Jackie Bradley Jr. is a defensive wizard in center field. However, his bat has always lagged. But Hunter Renfroe played right field and mashed 31 homers this past season. So, what does this mean? GM Chaim Bloom has stated in the past few days that after the lockout is lifted, Boston will turn its attention to the bullpen, and a power hitting, right-handed batter. It sounds like, with the universal DH rule about to take hold, they seem to think they’re out on Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber played plenty of left field and spent some time at first. He is of course, a lefty bat. Perhaps, they spend big and go after free agent outfielder, Nick Castellanos to slot in right field? In doing so, super utility man Kike Hernandez can man second base, as opposed to center, where he spent 93 games last season. The outfield would then be Alex Verdugo in left, JBJ in center, and Castellanos in right, with potentially Jarren Duran on the bench as the fourth outfielder.

Or perhaps Boston goes really big, and inks Carlos Correa for shortstop, moving Xander Bogaerts to second, leaving Hernandez in center, with Bradley Jr. taking over in right field? Afterall, Bloom never said the power hitting bat they’re seeking had to be an outfielder. Only time will tell. One thing’s for certain however, Boston has some issues to address, while having multiple options in doing so.

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