Of the 231 players who have played in at least 250 games this year, his .578 OPS is ranked 220. Even with a typical excellent defense – he has been credited with five defensive rounds saved by Baseball Info Solutions and with three more saves than a left-hander Averaged by Statcast – The Red Sox made the decision to go ahead given the depth of their offensive struggles.
The acquisition of first base officer Eric Hosmer, who is expected to join the Sox team in Kansas City Thursday, and defensive tackle Tommy Pham meant the Red Sox needed a place on their 40-man roster.
After the Sox acquired Pham, they committed to Jarren Duran as their daily quarterback while moving Alex Verdugo to the right.
Doran, 25, hits .232/.280/.384 with seven stolen bases, even though he has a .156/.200/.267 streak and a 36.8 percent strike rate since July 3. Six runs below average by DRS, although Statcast reports that he converted the average number of balls in play into strokes.
Committing to Duran (for the next few weeks at least, while Kiki Hernandez works his way back from a thigh lift) will give the Sox a better glimpse into his potential for 2023 and beyond, with the opportunity to show if he’s ready for it. Make the necessary adjustments to deal with the big league offers.
The decision to hire Bradley is only part of what promises to be an action-packed day for the Red Sox squad. Righthander Kaleb Ort, who scored three rounds of Wednesday’s Bullpen in Houston, was sent to Boston, presumably picked to return to Triple A Worcester.
Righthander Matt Barnes is expected to be activated during the current road trip, though it’s not clear if it will be Thursday in Kansas City.
Bradley, a Golden Glove and ALCS MVP in 2018, is a career .236/.315/.404 hitter in 964 games for the Sox and is considered by some to be the best defensive center player in recent team history.
Sox thought that with a return to familiar terrain, he had a chance to bounce back from his sad 2021 season with Milwaukee (.163/.236/.261).
But while Bradley did well at Fenway (.288/.317/.468 with an excellent defense), his struggles on the road proved (.turnover a chance.
Meanwhile, Renfrew scored .246/.299/.508 with 19 home players in 70 games for Milwaukee. Defensively, he’s earned eight DRS – which would rank in the top ten among top league players – but with a difference of two less than average by Statcast (the bottom 25% of defensive players). The loss of that production eventually led to Sox doing the Fam deal.
Between Bradley and Pham’s salaries and Renfrew’s absence, this series of moves will likely make the difference between the Red Sox ending the year on and below the $230 million luxury tax threshold — something that has major implications for the potential draft pick, the compensation Sox would receive if the free agents left Nate Eovaldi, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez.