In a recent story by the Boston Globe’ Alex Speier, he talks about how earlier in this off-season the Dodgers approached the Red Sox to gauge their interest in a proposed swap of Yasiel Puig heading to Boston for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Here is what both JBJ and Puig did in 2017.
Yasiel Puig: .263 / .346 / .487 / .833 / 28 HR / 74 RBI’s / 15 steals
Jackie Bradley Jr: .245 / .323 / .402 / 17 HR / 63 RBI’s / 8 steals
According to the numbers, Puig had a much more statistical productive year compared to JBJ. Some may relate Bradley’s downward turn to multiple injuries that landed the Red Sox outfielder on the DL.
In 2016, he put up a .267 average with .349 / .486 / .835 along with 26 homeruns and drove in 87 runs.
Numbers aside, the proposition of swapping a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder for a loose-cannon distraction is very interesting for a number of reasons.
1. Consistent Defense
Since Dombrowski joined the Red Sox in 2015, he has made it known that he is a big fan of the Gold Glove defense that Bradley Jr maintains throughout the season. Adding to the love affair, Dombrowski tried to acquire the Red Sox centerfielder while the GM in Detroit.
2. JBJ’s Strengths Play to New Brand of Baseball
Hitting coaches around baseball are emphasizing the need to hit the ball in the air, or obtain a greater launch angle. This plays into the hands of Jackie Bradley. As we’ve seen many times, Bradley makes plays that very few in Major League Baseball can.
Plays like these are what highlight his defensive prowess.
— BosSportsExtra ⚾⚽ (@BosSportsExtra) September 20, 2017
3. Team Control
JBJ is still under team control and is entering his first time as an arbitration-eligible player this season. He won’t become a Free Agent until 2021, thus allowing him to slowly earn more money from the arbitration process while being a member of the Red Sox.
Yasiel Puig, on the other hand, is set to hit the market after the upcoming 2018 season.
4. Team Leader
Though Jackie Bradley isn’t the most vocal player on the Red Sox, his contribution and lack of distractions are valuable to the clubhouse atmosphere. Puig has a fiery personality and is one of the “love him if he’s on your team, but hate him if he’s not” brand of players.
Yasiel Puig doing crazy things…with his bat and tongue pic.twitter.com/a3rljIbgzD
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) October 7, 2017
There is no doubt that Red Sox fans would love the energy that Puig brings, but it is likely that the Red Sox brass wanted to keep things toned down.
The Red Sox were wise to keep Jackie Bradley and allow the young outfielder to play elite defense, while hopefully showing improvements at the plate under the guidance of Alex Cora and Tim Hyers.