The Kansas City Royals have reportedly inquired about a possible trade for Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Here’s what it would mean for the team.
With each passing day it seems the Kansas City Royals become less and less likely to re-sign Lorenzo Cain. There has been reported interest in inking Cameron Maybin. There is always a chance Jarrod Dyson makes his way back to town. And now, there is apparently the possibility of the club trading for Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Kansas City Royals and the Giants have inquired about Bradley, and both will likely continue to show interest. (Note: Cafardo mentions Bradley and the Royals near the bottom of the article.) That’s despite Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski claiming “he’s not interested in moving” his center fielder.
Cafardo mentions, though, the scenario where Boston acquires a major outfielder (think Giancarlo Stanton or J.D. Martinez) and moves Andrew Benintendi to center. That would make Bradley more disposable, to be sure.
Assessing Bradley’s value
Should Boston come around on letting Bradley go, the price won’t be as steep as it was last offseason. Bradley is coming off a rough 2017 on the heels of his All-Star Game appearance the season prior. This past season, he hit .245/.323/.402. It’s a sharp decline from 2016 when he slashed .267/.349/.486. For the advanced stats crowd, his OPS+ dropped from 118 to 89.
The left-handed hitter’s power numbers fell off, too. A year after cranking 30 doubles, seven triples and 26 home runs, Bradley saw those numbers drop to 19, three and 17, respectively. As a result, he saw a major reduction in runs scored (94 to 58) and RBI (87 to 63). Even still, the 27-year-old featured in 133 games and helped the Red Sox win a second consecutive American League East Division title.
What would it take to land him?
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If Cain does in fact sign elsewhere this winter, the Kansas City Royals could do a lot worse than Bradley. As Cafardo said, without an outfield addition, it seems unlikely Bradley goes anywhere. However, the question remains whether the Royals have the pieces to complete a trade. It’s impossible to know what Boston’s asking price would be.
Perhaps, Whit Merrifield would be involved in a deal to land his former South Carolina teammate. Merrifield makes sense for the Red Sox in plenty of ways, but trading him would seem to run counter to the idea of remaining competitive. A deal centered around hot prospect Nicky Lopez, who just had an outstanding Arizona Fall League campaign, would appear to be the most logical avenue.
What do you think? Should the Kansas City Royals attempt to trade for Bradley? Are they better off avoiding him? Let us know your thoughts.