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SF Giants Interested in Boston Red Sox Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

The SF Giants were reportedly interested in Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline. Could they circle back to the outfielder this offseason? (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
The SF Giants were reportedly interested in Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline. Could they circle back to the outfielder this offseason? (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
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The MLB trade deadline is on Monday, and the SF Giants are rumored to be interested in Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

At 16-19, the SF Giants are both in a position to buy, sell, or stand pat at the upcoming MLB trade deadline. However, earlier reports have suggested the team may be leaning towards buying. According to Jon Heyman, the Giants are among a number of teams pursuing Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

While Mike Yastrzemski has emerged as a star this season, the only other productive outfielder at the plate, Austin Slater, remains on the injured list with a groin injury. Darin Ruf and Alex Dickerson haven’t been fantastic at the plate either. Furthermore, the Giants have been shuffling outfielders like Joey Rickard and Steven Duggar between the active roster and the alternate site for defensive flexibility.

The long-time Red Sox outfielder has seemingly been on the trade market for years. Since the 30-year-old debuted with Boston way back in 2013, he has slashed a solid .236/.317/.363 line (92 OPS+) with a 9.2 percent walk rate and a 25.4 percent strikeout rate. He’s amassed 16.1 WAR.

Thus far in 2020, the left-handed bat has posted a .253/.317/.363 line (81 OPS+) in 101 plate appearances. However, Bradley has a long history of hitting right-handed pitching. He has produced a .750 OPS with 77 home runs and 275 RBI against right-handers in his career. A skill especially valuable to the Giants who have struggled to the tune of a .717 OPS against right-handed hurlers this season.

That said, any offensive value Bradley provides is a bonus. For years, Bradley has been known as a glove-first player.

The University of South Carolina product was once one of the best center fielders in baseball and over his career has been worth 50 DRS and 6.5 UZR. However, the defensive metrics have been less favorable of Bradley’s glove recently. Since the start of 2019, Bradley has recorded just 0 DRS.

Regardless, he would be a clear upgrade defensively who can still make plays with the glove:

Most importantly for the Giants, Bradley shouldn’t cost much of anything in terms of prospects. A player on the periphery of the roster like Chris Shaw or maybe even Tyler Heineman could be enough to move the needle.

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As the SF Giants ponder their trade deadline strategy over the next 36 hours, they appear to be looking at modest upgrades to the roster. Bradley is not a perfect fit, but he represents an upgrade, both offensively and defensively, to an outfield that could benefit from more production.

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