Get this: Jackie Bradley Jr. was offered to the Mariners at some point in the offseason. Clearly they said no.
ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes reports that he heard the Mariners rejected a deal this spring from the Red Sox that would have sent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Seattle in exchange for left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush.
I was told this spring Sox offered M's JBJ for Furbush, were told no— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) May 15, 2015
Now, that's all we know about the supposed proposal. It's unclear if more pieces would have been involved, if the talks advanced. And it's unclear how sarcastic the 'no' was too. Was it a no, and you're ridiculous, or more of a no, but maybe if you could sweeten the deal with something you don't have kind of no? We can't know.
Update 5/15: Red Sox refute report:
SEATTLE -- Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington refuted a report on ESPN.com that the Red Sox had offered outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Seattle Mariners this past winter for left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush.
A source with one of the teams involved had said that such an offer was made and rejected by the Mariners, which ESPN.com noted in a tweet this spring. With the Red Sox in town to play the Mariners, the trade offer was cited again Thursday, but this time picked up by additional media outlets, including MLBtraderumors.com, which is closely followed in the baseball industry.
Cherington wrote in a text message Friday that the report was "simply false."
Note that Mr. Edes is both the one reporting the original rumor and the one correcting himself via the General Manager (and props for that):
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says my report of Bradley-Furbush trade proposal in off-season was false. One of teams involved was my source.— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) May 15, 2015
Editor's note: While Edes goes on to explain how a report like that can happen ("oversold" or "overheard" are both words he's using in his twitter responses today), I tend to believe the people with less to lose (say, a front office type you've never heard of) than a very public-facing general manager, who has to answer both to ownership, fans (I guess), and perhaps most importantly, the players with which he's dealing.
I'm not saying I don't believe Edes' correction here, I'm saying these types of reports don't go out at his level very often without any there there. My point is that this shouldn't stain Edes' reputation and we [MLBDD] will continue to take his reports seriously. And so should you.
In any case I believe the following speculation and analysis on Chris Shubert's part below is still relevant and worth a read. -jbopp
This tells you how the Red Sox are thinking
It makes sense that the Red Sox would have explored this move, as they have a bit of a logjam in the outfield. Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and even Allen Craig were keeping Bradley Jr. from cracking the major league roster.
Bradley Jr. was just called up by the Red Sox, playing in four games. He is still looking for his first major league hit of the 2015 campaign. Bradley Jr. was hitting the ball really well with Triple-A Pawtucket, sporting a .343 batting average with a .393 on-base percentage. The former top Boston prospect has struggled at the big league level, hitting .193 in 168 career games.
The Red Sox bullpen has been an absolute mess. The bullpen is sporting a FIP of 4.57, the 2nd worst mark in the majors. Furbush profiles as a guy that would have been able to fix some of the Red Sox troubles.
JBJ could've made sense for the Mariners, too
So far in 2015, Furbush's numbers look good to the naked eye. A 1.80 ERA in 17 games is something that most teams would take. But a look at the advanced numbers would suggest that Furbush is getting some help from his defense and his ballpark. A .179 BABIP shows that when Furbush is getting hit, it's finding Mariner gloves. Luck tends to regress, though, and his 4.47 xFIP doesn't help him much either.
Seattle could have viewed Bradley Jr. as a younger replacement for Austin Jackson, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. But at the end of the day, the Mariners valued Furbush in their bullpen over the risk of hoping Bradley Jr. can work out his hitting problems at the very pitcher friendly Safeco Field.