Boston Red Sox

Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (19) tosses his bat after hitting a grand slam home run in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

It appears more likely by the day that Jackie Bradley Jr. will not play for the Red Sox in 2020.

As the MLB Winter Meetings continue in San Diego, smoke is growing surrounding a potential trade of the Gold Glove centerfielder. Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweeted Monday that the Sox have been shopping Bradley and were in discussions with the New York Mets in recent days in weeks.

It should come as no surprise that the Sox are shopping Bradley at the meetings. Last month, Ken Rosenthal reported that a trade of Bradley is “all but certain” this winter.

Bradley will be a free agent after the 2020 season and is projected to make somewhere in the ballpark of $11 million in arbitration next season. With the cash-conscious Red Sox looking to slash more than $30 million in payroll, Bradley is a logical candidate to be traded.

Where the Sox could ship Bradley remains uncertain. Teams interested in a strong defensive centerfielder could opt to sign Kevin Pillar, who was non-tendered by the Giants last week, for less money and without having to give up prospects.

The Marisnick trade could be an indication as to what the Red Sox might be able to get in return for Bradley. The Astros acquired two prospects: a left-handed reliever who put up a strong season in Double-A and could be close to the big leagues and a lottery ticket 19-year-old outfielder in the low minors.

Bradley hit .225 with 21 home runs and a .738 OPS in 2019.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.