This offseason is widely expected to be one of great change for the Red Sox. With a clear goal of cutting payroll, most of the team's expensive key stars will likely be wearing new uniforms by the start of the 2020 season.
As part of that plan, Boston apparently expects to tender standout center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and then explore the trade market in the hopes of shedding his salary.
Though Bradley Jr. has yet to find consistency at the plate in recent years, his defensive upside certainly makes him an appealing option to teams looking for help in the outfielder. Among qualified center fielders since the start of 2014, his 36 defensive runs saved rank fourth in all of baseball, and his 30.0 UZR is good for third.
And in all fairness, his bat isn't a complete liability as conventional wisdom might suggest. While his career 91 wRC+ is below league average, it's be no means problematic. When taken into consideration with his Gold Glove-caliber defense, his offensive production is actually quite palatable.
Bradley Jr. is projected to make around $11 million next year. Considering the aforementioned plan to try and drop below the lowest luxury tax threshold in Boston and the poor state of its farm system, it would make sense to ship him out.
Trading him could help replenish an otherwise dry prospect pool while also saving the Red Sox some money.
Whether or not they end up shipping him remains to be seen, but if one thing is for sure, it's that Red Sox fans should be prepared for him to be patrolling the outfield for another team on Opening Day next season.