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The Dodgers Presented The Idea Of Trading Yasiel Puig For Jackie Bradley Jr. And Boston Was All Set

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This offseason has been slow as shit. The Red Sox have essentially done next to nothing outside of bringing back Mitch Moreland on a two-year deal. A good move, but nothing that was going to get the fans rushing to the ticket window.

But just because we, as fans, haven’t seen, read or heard anything about what the Red Sox have been up to outside of their pursuit of JD Martinez does not mean that they haven’t been up to anything.

According to major league sources, the Dodgers floated the possibility to the Red Sox of a swap that would send Jackie Bradley Jr. to Los Angeles while bringing Yasiel Puig to Boston. The Red Sox, according to the sources, quickly declined, so there were never any substantive conversations to advance a possible exchange.

Casual fans love the eye test, and that’s okay. I’m sure there are plenty of Red Sox fans out there who would love to see Yasiel Puig in Boston, especially after watching how much of an electric factory he was for the Dodgers this past October. However, the Red Sox were right to take a pass on this idea. First and foremost, it’s not as simple as trading Jackie Bradley Jr. for Puig. It’s trading two years of Puig for three years of Bradley.

I made reference to Puig’s postseason performance in which he hit .286 with an .883 OPS, 3 homers, 2 doubles and a triple, which I’m sure is fresh in everybody’s minds. But let’s pump the brakes for a second and acknowledge that this is a ridiculously small sample size — 63 plate appearances over 15 games — and the larger sample size tells a more obvious story of why the Red Sox were correct to pass on Puig for Bradley. Over the last three years, Bradley has averaged a WAR of 3.5, while Puig has averaged a WAR of 2.1 with a demotion to the minor leagues mixed in there, too.

For as inconsistent as Bradley can be from time to time offensively, when you look at the overall body of work at the end of the year, he’s a very, very solid player and his elite defense always makes up for his dry spells at the plate. Puig, on the other hand, hasn’t really been able to capture the magic that captivated baseball fans in LA when he was first called up in 2013, although he did enjoy a nice rebound season in 2017 that deviated from the downward trend that he had been on since his rookie season.

That doesn’t mean that Bradley will be in a Red Sox uniform on Opening Day, though. His name has undoubtedly come up the most often in Red Sox trade rumors this offseason, so whether or not he’ll be in Boston in 2018 and beyond has yet to be determined. But one thing is certain — if Bradley’s going out, Puig ain’t coming in and I’ve got no problem with that at all.