Jackie Bradley's elite defense in center field afforded him an everyday role in 2017, but the 27-year-old disappointed from a fantasy standpoint after he was unable to consistently display the burgeoning power he had shown the previous two seasons. It looked as though Bradley was trending toward a career-best campaign after providing an .853 OPS and 26 extra-base knocks in the first half, but much like 2016, his performance crashed after the All-Star break, as his OPS fell nearly 300 points while his walk and strikeout rates both veered sharply in the wrong direction. The vast disparity of those two halves makes Bradley a difficult player to project in 2018, but if his track record is any indication, he'll offer stretches of both All-Star-caliber production and utter incompetence at the plate. If Bradley resembles the player he was in the second half of last season early on in 2018, his defense might not be enough to regularly keep him in the lineup with Andrew Benintendi capable of sliding over to center field when needed.
Bradley said he plans to steal more bases in 2018, Ian Browne of MLB.com reports. Bradley was in town to accept an award presented by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, who named the center fielder the Red Sox's Defensive Player of the Year. While talking with reporters, he mentioned that new manager Alex Cora will give him the opportunity to run more. Bradley, whose career high is nine stolen bases in 2016, could enhance his appeal if he follows through on his words. The defensively gifted outfielder has delivered some pop the last three seasons, averaging 24 home runs over a 162-game schedule, but his bat can take a holiday for long stretches. A career .239 hitter, Bradley would be a much more palatable fantasy asset if he adds double-digit steals to his curriculum vitae.
Bradley agreed to a one-year, $6.1 million deal with Boston on Friday to avoid arbitration, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports. Bradley received a $2.5 million bump during his second year of arbitration eligibility. During the 2017 season, the outfielder hit .245/.323/.402 with 17 home runs and 63 RBI. Interestingly, Bradley has been far better in the first half of the season over the last two years, and will be an interesting fantasy play heading into 2018. He should receive regular starts in center, but unless he's able to find some production after the All-Star break, the club could choose to slide Andrew Benintendi over and plug in the lineup with a better bat.
Bradley is not in the lineup for Friday's matchup with the Astros, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. Bradley recorded just one hit in 23 at-bats over his last seven games, so manager John Farrell decided it was time to give him his first day off since Sept. 4. Rajai Davis will get the start in center field in Bradley's place.
Bradley (undisclosed) is in the lineup for Wednesday's matchup versus Oakland, Tim Britton of The Providence Journal reports. After playing six innings, Bradley was pulled from Tuesday's game as a precautionary measure after he showed some discomfort following a play in the outfield. He'll start in center field and hit ninth Wednesday night.
Bradley exited Tuesday's game against the A's after six innings, Tim Britton of The Providence Journal reports. Bradley seemed to be a bit shaken up while attempting to make a play in the outfield during the first inning. He stayed in the game and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double before exiting the contest prior to the seventh inning. The reason for his removal has not been announced, but it's possible that it was just a precautionary removal, as the Red Sox were leading 11-1 at the time of his departure.