Cincinnati Reds: 3 free agents to avoid this offseason

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 20: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 20, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 20: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 20, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next
Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout. The Reds were rumored to be interested in him last winter.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 04:Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout during. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

1. Jackie Bradley Jr., Outfielder

There were rumors last offseason of the Cincinnati Reds interest in adding a centerfielder. Eventually, Shogo Akiyama signed a three-year deal, but the Japanese outfielder saw more time in left field than center. Nick Senzel was on the injured list more than he was on the field in 2020, but the Reds should still avoid pursuing Jackie Bradley Jr. at all costs.

To be fair, Bradley Jr. had a fantastic bounce-back season following an atrocious 2019 campaign. After hitting .225/.317/.421 in 2019, Bradley Jr. rebounded in 2020 with a slash line of .283/.364/.450 while smacking seven home runs and racking up 22 RBIs. Bradley’s defense even improved. After putting up -2 defensive runs saved in 2019, last year Bradley recorded 5 DRS.

Still, the former Gold Glove Award winner need not be on Nick Krall’s shortlist. First, while Bradley played well over the pandemic-shortened season, heading into last year, Bradley was a career .236 with a .317 on-base percentage. The last thing Cincinnati needs is another quiet bat after finishing last in batting average last season.

Furthermore, while the Reds may not have center field figured out, the team has more than enough outfielders on the 40-man roster. Nick Senzel’s health should certainly be a concern for the Cincinnati front office, but Akiyama is quite capable of fielding the position and was a finalist for a Gold Glove this season. Hard pass on Jackie Bradley Jr.