If the Mets want Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to be their center field fix, they're now going to have to trade for him.
According to the Boston Globe's Alex Speier, the Red Sox have tendered a 2020 contract to Bradley. If Boston had not hit Bradley with a tender, then he would've become a free agent, where things would've have been much simpler for GM Brodie Van Wagenen & Co.
Now Bradley and the Sox have until a set date (usually in February) to come to terms on an agreement. If that doesn't happen, then arbitration will begin with both sides submitting salary proposals that independent arbitrators will use to determine a salary for the 2020 season.
Bradley is projected to make $11 million in arbitration this season, and that's the contract the Mets would have to take on if they were indeed trading for him.
But is that worth it for Bradley? His offensive numbers aren't anything spectacular after hitting .225/.317/.421 with 21 homers and 62 RBI last season. And he took a step back in the field last season with -1 defensive runs saved.
Bradley is also turning the corner at 30 years old this season, so it would make sense for the Mets to trade for someone else like Starling Marte or even Manuel Margot instead of taking on that $11 million, or whatever contract he receives this offseason.
A more team-friendly deal would've made sense in free agency for Bradley, but now that the Red Sox have locked him up for the moment, Van Wagenen may want to explore other center field options moving forward.