Agents continue to speculate that the SF Giants could be a landing spot for one of the top remaining free-agent outfielders on the market.
Bradley fit the Giants’ need for a left-handed hitting outfielder, but I will admit that it does not seem likely at this point. San Francisco filled that need on Thursday after acquiring LaMonte Wade Jr. from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for reliever Shaun Anderson.
Agents Speculate that SF Giants Remain a landing spot for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Wade has slashed .211/.336/.347 (86 OPS+) with two home runs and six RBI across a small sample of 113 plate appearances over two seasons. However, this includes a respectable .746 (.354 OBP) against right-handed pitching in 99 plate appearances.
The left-handed bat profiles best as a corner outfielder, but he should see some time in center field as well. On top of this, Wade gives the Giants the roster flexibility that they seek given that he has two options remaining.
On the other hand, Bradley is more of a known commodity. Across nine seasons, he has slashed .239/.321/.412 OPS (94 OPS+) with 98 home runs and 376 RBI. Similar to Wade, Bradley has a solid .752 OPS against righties that the Giants could leverage.
In the field, Bradley generates a lot of value with the glove as the defensive metrics continue to rate him as an above-average center fielder. However, the longtime Red Sox outfielder will be entering his age-31 season in 2021 and defensive value tends to regress pretty quickly as players reach their 30’s.
On a different note, he is said to be seeking a significant contract of at least four years in length. San Francisco has rarely handed out multi-year deals since Farhan Zaidi has taken over as team president of baseball operations.
Would he and the rest of the front office make an exception for Bradley? That part remains to be seen, but the Giants seemingly filled the role that Bradley would have fit by trading for Wade.
Still, even after that move, it is interesting that agents continue to peg the Giants as one of the likely landing spots. That said, the Astros have a much bigger need for a center field since George Springer departed via free agency. Plus, the Red Sox cannot be counted out either. It’s likely a two-team race at this point.