Behind the Sizemore vs. Bradley decision
March, 26, 2014
By Buster Olney | ESPN Insider
Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesJackie Bradley Jr. has had Grady Sizemore breathing down his neck all spring.Compared with the choices of desperation being made in the camps of the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, the Red Sox's outfield quandary is like picking between Hawaii and the Bahamas for a vacation spot. Texas would love to have Boston's troubles.
But Boston's decision about what to do with Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. has been complicated, presenting competing sets of priorities.
Sizemore has looked great this spring, after having just 435 plate appearances over the last five years. If the question was only about who is Boston's best center fielder today, Sizemore would be the choice, given the way he has looked this spring. It appears that may be the way the Red Sox are leaning, based on what manager John Farrell said Tuesday.
But Bradley, who turns 24 next month, is clearly the center fielder of the future for the Red Sox, having demonstrated his superlative defensive skills in the minors, having shown his knack for getting on base year after year (career .404 OBP in the minors). If the decision was only about the long-term plans for the Red Sox, Bradley would be the center fielder.
So Red Sox evaluators have been weighing the various options they have at their disposal.