The Jackie Bradley Jr. sweepstakes have come to an end. The defensive wizard has agreed to sign a two-year, $24 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe. Bradley’s new deal includes a player option after the first season.
Source: Jackie Bradley Jr. is heading to the Milwaukee Brewers. Two-year, $24 million deal with a player option after the first year.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) March 4, 2021
Bradley, who turns 31 in April, held out until Spring Training in hopes of receiving a contract he desired. Four weeks ago, we learned that such a contract could be for at least four years. Instead, he settles for two years at $12 million per season with the possibility of hitting free agency in both of the next two offseasons.
The former first-round pick spent eight seasons in the majors with the Boston Red Sox. He appeared in at least 82 percent of games in six of the last seven years. Bradley owns a career slash line of .239/.321/.412 in addition to 98 career home runs. In last season’s 60-game sprint, he posted career-highs in batting average (.283) and on-base percentage (.364).
While Bradley has been up and down at the plate, his presence in center field is a different story. Widely regarded as one of the best defenders in baseball (if not the best), Bradley owns 44.6 career defensive fWAR, though when factoring in his offensive metrics, that equates to roughly 15.0 total fWAR. Still, over the last six seasons, he saved 33 defensive runs and owns a 19.9 UZR. His 2020 sprint speed put him in the 62nd percentile, but it’s his two other Statcast-measured metrics that really set him apart: in 2020, he finished in the 85th percentile in outfielder jump and 98th percentile in outs above average.
Bradley, while notoriously streaky at the plate, figures to be in line for a major role with the Brewers. He should be an everyday player whose prowess in the field gives Milwaukee a major boost.