As a 25-year-old former top prospect who has struggled in the majors what is Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.’s value at this point?
Well, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston the Red Sox offered Bradley to the Mariners for left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush during spring training and Seattle turned it down.
Since then Bradley has been playing at Triple-A, hitting .343 in 24 games, and now he’s back in Boston for another call-up. Furbush has a 1.80 ERA for the Mariners, but he’s thrown just 10 innings in a left-handed specialist role and his 7/3 K/BB ratio is nothing special.
Mostly, though, the idea that the Red Sox tried to trade a 25-year-old outfielder two seasons removed from being a top prospect for a 29-year-old southpaw specialist is what caught my attention here. Boston wanting to part ways with an outfielder makes sense given the organizational logjam and while they may not have seen the outfield as a big weakness during spring training the Mariners’ current outfield situation sure isn’t pretty. They probably could have used Bradley a lot more than 10 innings of Furbush.
Philadelphia has called up third base prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A, which was the assumed follow-up move to the Phillies demoting third baseman Cody Asche to Triple-A so he could make the switch to left field.
Franco is just 22 years old and his plate discipline needs work, but he hit .355 in 33 games at Triple-A to earn the call-up. He also finished last season on a major tear at Triple-A, although his overall numbers were underwhelming because of a brutal start.
Franco ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect this year and last year, typically being slotted into the 40-60 range for 2015. He’s shown good power in the minors, including 20 homers and 45 doubles in 166 total games at Triple-A, but he’s never drawn as many as 40 walks in a season.
Also of note: No doubt the Phillies will deny this was a factor, but by calling up Franco today he’ll finish precisely one day short of a full season’s worth of service time once combined with his September action last season. Coincidentally, of course. Funny how that works.
Rays closer Jake McGee, who’s been on the disabled list all season following December elbow surgery, is on the verge of returning.
Manager Kevin Cash told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times: “I think we’ll see him at some point over the weekend.” Tampa Bay begins a three-game series with Minnesota tomorrow night.
Brad Boxberger has done a great job filling in for McGee, saving 10 games with a 1.29 ERA and 20/6 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, so it’s possible the Rays will keep the status quo for a while and work McGee back into the late-inning mix gradually.
McGee is coming off a breakout 2014 campaign in which he saved 19 games and posted a 1.89 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 71 innings. He’s one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball, assuming he’s fully healthy.