Jackie Bradley Jr. was once a staple at the heart of the Boston Red Sox lineup, outfield and looker room. Now, similar to many of his constituents on the 2018 World Series roster, he is on his way out. Specifically, he is heading to the Milwaukee Brewers.
First Free Agency
For the first time in his career, Bradley Jr. entered the offseason with uncertainty. Bradley Jr. spent the first eight years of his MLB career with the Red Sox. During that time, he never hit free agency much less considered moving teams. That said, sports are a business and going into his ninth season, Bradley found himself without a team.
When describing free agency, Bradley mentioned that although the experience was unfamiliar, he enjoyed it. Rather than worrying about the process, he used the free time to relax with his family while the pieces fell into place. Ultimately, he elected to sign with the Brewers due to the flexibility and length of contract.
Excited for New Start and Opportunities
Although Bradley looks back fondly on his time in Boston, he is ready to turn the page and start fresh. Once the Brewers entered the mix, Bradley immediately found himself excited at the opportunity to join the group.
In recent years, the Brewers have emerged as contenders in the NL because of their talented outfield consisting of Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Avisail Garcia. That said, Bradley will have an opportunity to join those individuals as an every day player.
Coming off a quad injury, Cain is expected to be eased back into the lineup. Although he should be ready for opening day, it is likely he starts slow giving Bradley time to play.
Additionally, he will have the opportunity to earn the every day job over Garcia.
Despite the fact that Brewers outfield is already crowded, it is a talented group with room for more.
Milwaukee Brewers outfield is looking pretty stacked. All 3 have a Gold Glove Award (+ Avisail Garcia):
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Lorenzo Cain Christian Yelich
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) March 4, 2021
Effect on Brewers
While the move to Milwaukee makes a lot of sense for Bradley, it also makes sense for the Brewers. Primarily, Bradley offers them a lot of flexibility.
As aforementioned, Cain has a quad injury and is going need to take his time coming back. In addition, the season is changing back from 60 to 162 games. Thus, there will likely be a natural increase in the amount of injuries and teams will need to have depth at the ready. Having Bradley on the roster allows Cain to casually work his way back, and gives the team options regarding potential daily lineups if injuries arise.
Much of Milwaukee’s struggles last year were a result of their poor defense. That said, Bradley is one of the best defensive outfielders in the league. By bringing him in, the Brewers are hoping he can contribute himself while their already existing personnel continues to improves.
Without Bradley, the Brewers are a good team with many small holes to fill. With Bradley, the Brewers are a team ready to make a run.