After Josh Reddick, George Springer, and Michael Brantley’s departures from Houston, the Astros are taking a look at other outfielders that might be an option for them. According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, that includes Jackie Bradley Jr., the center-fielder that entered free agency after an eight-year run with the Red Sox. Based on the report, the Astros are showing “strong interest” in acquiring him.
Bradley Jr. can indeed be an option for an Astros team who might not have enough money to bring back George Springer, especially after knowing they have already discussed a new deal with Brantley. At the end of the day, Springer might be even more expensive than a Bradley Jr., whose defensive skills have been brilliant over the years.
But how does this look in the paper for Houston?
In Bradley Jr., they will probably have a similar player to Springer, but the former is notably more affordable for them, considering they are in the middle of a free-agent purge and will be in the same scenario for the next couple of seasons as well. I know Springer is already a franchise icon and has a qualifying offer on the table, but the Astros need to try to put the puzzle together without causing a disaster and falling apart in the long term.
Bradley Jr., whose agent happens to be Scott Boras, has never earned more than $11M per year. That’s what he was supposed to make this season, though he ended up adding just a little more than $4M to his bank account due to the shortened season. That’s a big point knowing that the Astros will have Carlos Correa, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, and Lance McCullers Jr. (among others) in their walk year in 2021, plus Yuli Gurriel in 2022.
The 30-year-old outfielder, who won the Gold Glove back in 2018, won’t overwhelm you with his offense. In 2020, he hit for a very respectable .283/.364/.450 slash line, but he registered a sub-.800 OPS in every campaign from 2017 to 2019. And it’s also true that he doesn’t fit as a leadoff guy as he strikes out consistently and doesn’t get on base that often, so the Astros will have to figure that out even after eventually signing him.
The good thing is he can offer decent production (28 2Bs, 21 HRs, 62 RBIs last year), he runs well, he’s among the best defensive center-fielders in baseball, and has plenty of postseason experience, as Springer does. So Bradley would be a solid acquisition if the Astros can’t bring back George.
But, hey, who knows? There’s still a lot of ground to cover in the offseason and the Astros have work to do. While we wait for some moves, let your voice be heard in the poll below...
If you were James Click, would you sign Jackie Bradley Jr?
This poll is closed
Yes, good addition
No, I want George Springer to be back
No, get someone else