Jackie Bradley Jr.’s future in Boston seems uncertain.
On Wednesday, the Gold Glove center fielder spoke about seemingly being ready to become a free agent after the team has not engaged in contract extensions to this point.
"I made it this far," said Bradley Jr. "Might as well become a free agent."
Then Thursday, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy joined The Greg Hill Show and repeated what Chaim Bloom said earlier in the week, that the Red Sox want to keep Bradley Jr. for the future.
“We really want Jackie Bradley apart of this team long-term, so I think that factored into the discussions more than anything,” he said when asked why the center fielder was not traded. “There’s been interest in Jackie. He has been with us a decade-plus. There’s been interest in him as a player at different trade deadlines over the years and trade conversations in the offseason, but we have not made a deal for him in large part because of what he means to the Red Sox from a baseball perspective. He’s incredibly talented. Again, two-time World Series champion. We have engaged on discussions, we listen on all players, but we did not have any deal for Jackie at this trade deadline or any others that made sense for us.”
Kennedy added: “Again, he said it clearly and bluntly and he’s right, we haven’t made a contract offer to him that has caused him to want to stay here. We hope to be in conversions with his representatives this offseason and see where that takes us, but you never know where that goes once you get to free agency and that is a right that he’s earned.”
There’s been some talk that of one of the reasons why Bradley Jr. was not traded at the deadline was because of his race.
Kennedy said that is not accurate.
“No, I think just Jackie played a factor in keeping Jackie,” he said. “We didn’t have a trade that we felt was right this deadline or other deadlines. Hopefully we will be able to keep Jackie here long-term in Boston, where I think he belongs. … It is Jackie the player, Jackie the person. We want him here long-term.”
But, he did say he hopes the Red Sox have a more diverse roster in the future.
“In terms of the race issue, obviously we would hope to have a more diverse roster moving forward,” Kennedy said. “I have been thinking a lot about this being here more than two decades. To go back at our championships, or any championship in Boston for that matter, one of the consistent themes has been a diverse roster filled with different players with different viewpoints, different politics, different races, Black, White, Latino, Asian — to think about ’04, ’07 or ’13 or ’18.
"So we do think we need a diverse roster of players, the best baseball players we can possibly have to bring another championship back to Boston. It’s really important and it is something baseball as an industry has to do better.”
Bradley Jr. has been with the Red Sox his entire career, which began when he was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft.