I helped misappropriated an idea from Lone Star Ball. It isn’t the first time I’ve stolen from them. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
Figured I’d double down today, because I wasn’tt really sold at all on the idea of J.T. Realmuto (although the Blue Jays do have a propensity for players with initials for first names, maybe more so in J.P. Ricciardi’s time). Let’s look at Jackie Bradley Jr. (we also seem to line Juniors in Toronto).
Jackie is number 10 on Keith Law’s list and number 18 on FanGraphs list.Craig Edwards figures Bradley will receive a 2-year contract worth $18 million, averaging $9 million a season (I suppose I didn’t have to do the math for you).
Bradley would seemingly fill a need. We could use a center field with excellent range. My feeling is that an outstanding center fielder would take some of the pressure off our corner outfielders (and perhaps serve as an example of how to go get the ball).He was the NL Gold Glove winner in 2018. He had a 5.5 UZR/150 this year. I don’t think anyone would doubt that he would be an improvement for the outfield defensively.
Offense? He had a good 2020 with the bat. .283/.364/.450 with 7 home runs, which was a step up from previous seasons. In the past five seasons, he’s had wRC+ totals of 118, 89, 90, 90, and 119. I wouldn’t expect he would keep up the offensive numbers from last year.He is a good base runner, picks up a few stolen bases a season. Bradley is always on the positive side on FanGraphs’ Base running runs above average’.
On the downside, he will be 31 in April of next year. And we would likely have to find a way to move Randal Grichuk or more Teoscar Hernandez to DH (which would cause some other position changes, some of which might tend to subtract from the defensive gains in CF). Then again, if Bradley is in CF, Grichuk in right, and Gurriel in left, our outfield defense becomes a strong point. I’m ok with that. Hernandez could play 50-60 games in the outfield to spell the other guys.
There are several ways this off-season could play out. The rumors suggest the Jays will be aggressive this winter (I’ll believe it when I see it). I’m not sure everyone would see signing Bradley as a bold move. Still, a 2-year deal would give the team time to decide whether Austin Martin should be an infielder or an outfield (or just left in the showroom. Online reviews suggest it isn’t a very reliable vehicle).
Should the Blue Jays sign Jackie Bradley Jr. if the price is $9 million a year for 2 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not