Jackie Bradley Jr. is a sorcerer on a baseball field and when it comes to defense, I’m talking a Scarlet Witch-level sorcerer. Bradley has made some of the most incredible catches of the last decade while patrolling center field for the Red Sox, saving more than a few pitchers and games along the way. Defense isn’t the only strength of his game, but it was certainly the most prominent and one that the Red Sox needed (and benefited from the most) throughout his tenure with the team.
Unfortunately, that tenure has come to an end. After a long winter of rumors constantly shifting expectations about the potential of him returning to Boston, Bradley signed a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers last week. Although those who perhaps naively held onto hope (myself included) rode a roller coaster all offseason while waiting to find out about Bradley’s future, someone with a more objective perspective would have seen that the Red Sox were probably never going to bring him back. They had the chance to sign him to an extension before this winter after all, and they never got around to doing that — or at least the two sides never agreed on terms.