Chicago Cubs continue to weigh their options in center field
With veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler expected to decline his qualifying offer that he received from the Chicago Cubs, the organization continues to weigh their options when it comes to center field.
It would be a disappointment if Fowler ended up signing elsewhere, but the man played his heart out and earned himself a big contract. No matter if it’s with the Cubs or with another franchise, he’s going to sign one of the biggest contracts of his professional career.
Now, with that being said, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer continue to weigh their options when it comes to that position. Both men have confirmed that they will be big players in the free-agent market this offseason, especially when it comes to starting pitching.
While they deal with ace right-hander Jake Arrieta, guys such as Jordan Zimmermann, Zack Greinke, David Price, and John Lackey are on Chicago’s list of candidates.
When it comes to the outfield, according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Cubs are one of many teams interested in trading for 25-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Boston Red Sox.
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Joining the Cubs are the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, and the New York Yankees which isn’t surprising. Jackie was drafted by the Red Sox back in 2011 when Epstein was still with the organization, so knowing that Chicago is thinking about acquiring his services makes sense.
Bradley, Jr. put together a career season by clubbing 10 homers, 43 RBI, and four triples while hitting .249/.335/.498 in 74 games with the Red Sox in 2015. He made several trips between the big league club and their Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox during the early part of the year.
The decision to call him up was to help fill the gap when both Shane Victorino and Mookie Betts found themselves being placed on the disabled list for a brief period of time.
Betts suffered a concussion in late-July when he tumbled over the right field wall, falling into the bullpen after fielding a fly ball that was hit by Chicago White Sox’ slugger, Jose Abreu.
This news regarding Chicago’s interest in Bradley could determine Austin Jackson‘s run with the Cubs. Jackson was acquired from Seattle on August 31, adding depth to the outfield with right fielder Jorge Soler still on the disabled list for Joe Maddon‘s club.