Posted on November 12, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The San Francisco Giants are coming off an utterly disastrous campaign in 2017. But instead of taking a step back and rebuilding from the ground up, the Giants are poised to re-load in an effort to compete for a postseason spot in 2018. One of the names at the top of their wish list this winter appears to be Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Recent reports indicate that Bradley is one of several outfielders the Giants are looking at as possible additions this offseason.
Giants vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean has already indicated that upgrading center field is one of the team’s top priorities. Denard Span has served as San Francisco’s primary center fielder over the past two seasons. But at age 33, his skills are starting to decline. He no longer appears to be an ideal choice as an everyday center fielder, leading the Giants to explore their options elsewhere.
That’s why a player like Bradley could be considered an upgrade for San Francisco. Despite a down season in 2017, Bradley is a quality two-way player. If Bradley can return to the form he had in 2016 offensively, he’d be an upgrade in center field for most major league teams. He’s also under team control for three more seasons and could provide a long-term solution for the Giants in center field.
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If San Francisco were able to acquire Bradley or a similar player, they would have the freedom to move Span to left field. The Giants received little production in left field last season from players like Gorkys Hernandez, Jarrett Parker, and Mac Williamson. Being able to move Span to left field would at least give the Giants a proven everyday player to man that spot. Meanwhile, the Giants would hope that Bradley provides the offensive boost their lineup needs.
The Red Sox aren’t exactly shopping Bradley at the moment. But under the right circumstances, he could be put on the trade block. It’s been established that the Red Sox are making a serious effort to land Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton in a trade. If Boston can pull off such a trade, the Red Sox could trade Bradley and shift Andrew Benintendi to center field to make room for Stanton. The Red Sox have also been linked with free agent J.D. Martinez. If the Red Sox acquire either Stanton or Martinez, it could open the door for Bradley to be traded.
Of course, the Giants have also been connected to both Stanton and Martinez early in the offseason. All things being equal, San Francisco would obviously prefer adding one of those two players. But if they’re unable to land either slugger, Bradley could be a nice consolation prize.
At the moment, there’s nothing to suggest that the Giants and Red Sox have talked about Bradley. However, with the GM Meetings getting underway on Sunday, there’s no shortage of topics that could be discussed. Ultimately, Bradley’s fate could be tied to the Red Sox acquiring either Stanton or Martinez this winter. If that ends up happening, Bradley could become an intriguing trade option for the Giants, among other reams.