Trade Talk: The JBJ Edition
|Photo by Michael Dwyer/AP Photo|
Ryan MacLeod (RyanMacLeod15)
In the month of May Jackie Bradley Jr. has been the best player in baseball. There really is no questioning it either. Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper and reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson haven't come close to putting up the numbers that Bradley has. In the month of May, Donaldson has hit .194, only 14 hits in 72 at bats, driving in only three runs. Harper has hit .231 with 12 hits in 52 at bats, driving in five runs, but he has been walked 29 times. Bradley on the other hand is has a hit streak of 26 games going, hitting .426 with 29 hits in 68 at bats. He has driven in 20 runs and has hit seven home runs.
There is no doubt in my mind that right now Bradley is either the best or a top three player in the major leagues, which is precisely why the Red Sox management should be shopping him to other teams trying to bring in another top level starting pitcher. Bradley's value will never be higher, the tear that he is on in unparalleled in the Majors right now and there are many teams that would likely overpay for someone who will eventually return to this galaxy.
The Red Sox have a great core of young players making up this team and Bradley is at the center of that core, yet if you look down in the farm system there are outfielders that are moving up the ranks fast, and could create a serious log jam in the already full outfield at Fenway. And then you look at the contracts that will eventually need to be given out. If you look at Bradley, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts, all three of those players will command monster contracts if and when they hit the free agent market. You likely will not be able to, or be willing to meet the demands of all three players, so one needs to go. Looking at potential, it looks like Bogaerts will be the best of the three and then Betts will be the second best, leaving Bradley as the least valuable.
Now do not let it cloud your judgement, Bradley has had a fantastic last month, and even a great start to the year, but I am not one to forget the struggles that he had adjusting to Major League pitching and I am fearful that he could return to that someday. Dave Dombrowski loves him some Bradley, since he joined the Red Sox front office last season Bradley has been a constant in the Red Sox lineup. He values Bradley's defense more than anything, as it is gold glove caliber, but there are issues that this team needs to address and they can address these issues easily if Bradley is a trade piece.
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