The SF Giants continue to look for outfield help and one offseason target is reportedly seeking a significant contract.
Mike Puma of the New York Post suggests that SF Giants target Jackie Bradley Jr. is seeking a contract beyond four years. The financial details are not yet known, but it is not surprising to see him seek a substantial deal in terms of length given that he is represented by Scott Boras.
Bradley was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2011 draft out of the University of South Carolina. He debuted with the club back in 2013 and has an impressive resume that includes two World Series rings, one Gold Glove Award in center field, and one American-League All-Star nod.
SF Giants target seeking “signifcant contract”
In eight seasons, the left-handed bat has slashed .239/.321/.412 with 98 home runs, 376 RBI, and 60 stolen bases in 74 opportunities while being worth 18 WAR. This includes a 9.3 percent walk rate against a 25.2 percent strikeout rate, so he brings some swing-and-miss to the table with modest power.
With that being said, the 2020 season was a solid one for Bradley, albeit in a small sample. Across 217 plate appearances, he posted an .814 OPS with seven home runs and 22 RBI while being worth 2.1 WAR. Given that it was a contract year, the longtime Red Sox outfielder performed well in a market that often shows a recency bias. Prior to 2020, Bradly had not posted an OPS+ above 100 since 2016.
Bradley derives a lot of value due to his stellar work in the outfield. Even if his bat takes a step back over the next couple of seasons, he could still function as a valuable fourth outfielder.
The Giants’ interest in Bradley is not surprising given his strong glove and the fact that he has a solid track record (.752 career OPS against RHP) against right-handed pitching, especially considering that this is one area San Francisco would still like to improve.
On the other hand, the Giants seem perfectly content with their outfield mix consisting of Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Mauricio Dubon, Darin Ruf and Austin Slater. There is an opportunity to add another left-handed bat to the mix, but probably not one of Bradley’s stature. The reported contract demand seems uncomfortably high, so the Giants might be looking elsewhere at this point. However, it does seem like they continue to monitor the outfield market, and it would not be surprising to see them add one more name to the group before Spring Training gets underway.