RED SOX INSIDER

Tomase: How is JBJ like a PB&J? Let Scott Boras explain

RED SOX INSIDER

Scott Boras is the man who gave us "pillow contract" in regards to Adrian Beltre and "mystery team" for pretty much every big-name free agent he has ever shopped. And to the Boras thesaurus we can add a new entry: PB&J.

The staple of school lunches everywhere is how Boras described client Jackie Bradley Jr., who he claims is drawing interest across baseball as a defensive-minded center fielder with some offensive pop.

"JBJ is kind of the PBJ of the Major Leagues," Boras said on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. "He's sweet, smooth and spreads it all over, covers it well."

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The Bradley-as-comfort-food analogy is apt in one sense, because Red Sox fans may not realize how much they'll miss him if he departs. Though his offensive inconsistency drove fans crazy, the Gold Glove outfielder saved runs consistently in center -- 53 for his career, per Baseball Info Solutions -- and he even posted an .814 OPS in this truncated 2020.

As the second, lower-cost option behind primary free agent center fielder George Springer, he should eventually find a market.

"The idea of what Jackie does in a defensive runs saved environment has been quite popular," Boras said. "I think the fact that he has really illustrated a dimension of a different approach, particularly going the other way, and his OPS went well over .800 -- that seems to be very, very attractive to a lot of clubs. They've asked a lot of questions about it and what adjustments he's made. When you have a world champion and someone who's done what Jackie's done, being as young as he is and being as efficient as he is and as great of a teammate as he is, he's received a lot of attention, and we expect something very grand for him going forward."

 

Fangraphs predicts that Bradley will sign for two years and $20 million, though three and $30 million wouldn't be a surprise, given the lack of proven center field talent on the roster. Boras envisions bigger things -- that's his job, after all -- and was asked if there have been discussions with the Red Sox.

"Well, I certainly, you know, we've had the discussions and they've certainly expressed the interest and let us know that he is a clear part of the Red Sox support hose, let's put it that way," Boras said. "So we know that he's had great success there. He's a winning player, and the Red Sox intentions are to advance their winning ways certainly beyond what could happen in '20. So, again, as with most free agents, we get notice of interest and then we'll wait and see how the market unfolds with them."

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In the meantime, Bradley can fix himself a sandwich and wait to see whose plate he lands on.