It appears that Dave Dombrowski has checked on the future of the Red Sox – even if it requires shedding potential salary.
It was reported a couple of weeks ago that the Red Sox had made a number of returning players available via trade. Throughout the Winter Meetings, most of these conversations are noteworthy, but are largely written off due to a GM performing their due-diligence.
In this case, it was further reported that the Red Sox had started trade talks with Jackie Bradley Jr to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite being unable to reach a deal, it does show that there is relative interest in moving players that may not be re-signed.
Is there a chance that the Red Sox would actually move their Gold Glove CF?
“Do Not Worry About Tomorrow for Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself”
There is a strong argument to be made for retaining the beloved centerfielder. JBJ is coming off of his best career performance in the playoffs, garnering the ALCS MVP award, and powering the Sox to their first World Series crown since 2013. Additionally, he (finally) won a Gold Glove award and further proved his on-field value.
Performance aside, the strongest reality is that the Red Sox are built to win now. The World Series champions are returning a large majority of the personnel that will seek to defend its crown and have the pieces to make that a reality. Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and Xander Bogaerts are nearing the end of their current contracts, while J.D. Martinez has a player option after 2019. There’s a large possibility that numerous mainstays may be finding a different home in the coming years, but that’s added incentive to compete now.
Dave Dombrowski is doing the right thing in looking ahead, but there’s a clear chance to win a World Series now. It would not be surprising for him to focus on the present and worry about the future after a duck boat parade next October.
The Scott Boras Argument
It would be foolish to cover a topic and fail to mention that Jackie Bradley was represented by one of the biggest names in the sports world, Mr. Scott Boras. The infamous agent is known for getting the most value for his clients, regardless of financial situations or performance.
There’s a strong possibility that the Red Sox feel comfortable in shifting either Andrew Benintendi or Mookie Betts over to centerfield. If this were the case, Dombrowski may seek to capitalize on JBJ’s current value. He’s set to hit the open market in 2021, but the aggressive GM may seek to move before then.
Additionally, the Red Sox know what they have in Bradley – an elite defensive CF with a streaky bat. He’s a career .238 hitter that has reached an average of .250 or higher, just once in his six year career (2016). His high’s are All Star caliber, but his low’s could easily be replaced by a Pawtucket outfielder. There’s an argument to be made that his offensive liability could be enough of a reason to forego a long-term deal in Boston.
It doesn’t seem like the Red Sox are inclined to move JBJ anytime soon; however if Dombrowski’s asking price is met, he may shock the majority of Red Sox nation.