Jackie Bradley Jr.’s relationship with the Kansas City Royals is over before it even started it seems.
On Monday, the Royals decided to pull the plug and designate the veteran MLBbro for assignment and bring up speedster Dairon Blanco to replace him on the roster.
The Royals have DFA’d Jackie Bradley Jr.
In his place they’ve called up Dairon Blanco who leads the minor leagues with 47 stolen bases pic.twitter.com/n5YWb8DNgO
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 12, 2023
Jackie Bradley Jr. Had A Quick Cup Of Coffee With KC
Bradley’s tenure with the Royals lasted only 43 games after signing a minor league contract during spring training. This early departure comes for the second year in a row as the Toronto Blue Jays dropped him in a similar fashion after last season.
Bradley’s troubling hitting slash of .133/.188/.210 with one home run, five doubles and six RBI leaves doubt about what the future holds.
But based on this statement to the Boston Globe last month, Bradley has other things on his mind…
“I want to enjoy my family, travel, play golf and just relax,” Bradley said to Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe last month. “I have plenty of things I enjoy outside of this game.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. Is A World Champion, ALCS MVP
Even though Bradley wasn’t a heart of the order hitter for the Red Sox career his ability to draw walks, occasional power and his strong glove in the outfield was enough to keep him in the lineup. But after his .283/.364/.450 during the pandemic 2020 season, a slash line of .176/.238/.275 with a walk rate of only 6.2% in his final 911 plate appearances probably will have back on the free agent market.
So, what are the options for a former 2016 All-Star and 2018 American League Championship Series MVP with career stats featuring a .225 batting average, 109 homers and 449 RBI in 1,181 spread out over four teams?
Bradley’s departure is just the first step in Kansas City’s early blowup project to the roster particularly in the outfield. The Royals own some of the worst offensive production in baseball with their outfield COMBINED hitting slash as of Monday, .200/.268/.328 with below-average production from Nate Eaton, Kyle Isbel, Drew Waters and MJ Melendez.
The team ranks 24th in homers (62), 25th in batting average (.230) and 29th in runs scored (243).
Now that Bradley has been designated for assignment, the Royals have these three options to ponder for a week.
- Trade Bradley to another team. This is highly unlikely considering that he has been released from three teams unceremoniously since 2021.
- Try to pass him through outright waivers with the chance another team claims him. The caveat here is Bradley has accumulated enough service time to reject any assignment that is offered.
- Outright release him after he clears waivers.
Let’s assume option three happens and hope our MLBbro gets another chance if he wants to continue his career. From the way he sounded in an interview towards the end of May, JBJ seems to have lost his genuine love for the game. It’s a business that Bradley says he won’t even think about when he retires. That time might be now.