Re-evaluating the Hunter Renfroe trade after Jackie Bradley Jr. DFA is not pretty

Tomase: Jackie Bradley Jr. DFA Makes Renfroe Trade Look Worse, originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
If the analytics revolution is about putting players in the best position for success, then man, did the Red Sox have Jackie Bradley Jr.
Of all the moves Chaim Bloom has made since arriving as chief baseball officer in 2019, Bradley's trade may be the worst. From the moment the Red Sox recaptured the veteran outfielder for Hunter Renfroe last winter, they asked too much of him, and now he's taking the fall for an imperfect roster.
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The Boston Globe broke the news that Bradley was drafted Thursday, and based on his numbers it's hard to argue. Bradley hits .210 with .578 OPS, which ranks him 193rd out of 199 players with at least 275 plate appearances.
Tomase: Red Sox in the dreaded no man's land after a boring trading period
But step back and it's clear the Red Sox have put Bradley in an untenable position. After signing a two-year, $24 million contract and then posting the worst numbers of his career with the Brewers, Bradley returned to Boston (A) to help land two prospects when Milwaukee dropped his salary, and (B) to serve as fourth outfielder/defensive reserve.
No one expected him to be a full-time player, yet he opened the season as a right starter and then basically stayed there until this week's belated takeover of Tommy Pham rendered him expendable.
Part of his extended playing time came out of necessity after Kiké Hernández sustained a serious hip injury in early June, but that was largely due to an appalling lack of planning. Bradley currently ranks fourth in games played with the Red Sox, just behind Bobby Dalbec, which explains a lot.
Trading Renfroe only made sense for 2022 if the Red Sox added a right-handed outfielder to start in right field and replace his considerable production (.251-31-96 last year), with Bradley available against right-handed pitching and as one of the best defensive substitutes in the game.
Not only did they not address that apparent need in March, when the offseason resumed after the lockout, they ignored it until August, when they finally acquired Pham from the Reds.
Not the right step
Red Sox Right Fielders Combined OPS (2022)
.564
Hunter Renfroe's OPS (2022)
.806
variation
Double
Meanwhile, they've called out Triple-A Worcester's Jarren Duran and made him their starting center fielder, though he has trouble chasing fly balls at dusk. Once again, they failed to maximize Bradley's abilities, leaving him right next to the overwhelmed Duran. An outfield formation of Duran on the left, Bradley in the middle and Alex Verdugo on the right would have served them better than watching Duran treat grand slams with indifference in the park.
It wasn't until Pham arrived that they finally moved Verdugo to the right. They are now signed to Duran, who, in case no one has noticed, has hit just .135 in his last 20 games with 31 strikeouts. Given his defensive limitations, it's hard to argue that he's an upgrade over Bradley at this moment.
Anyway, the Renfroe trade looks awful today. While selling big on the racquet made sense, the swap significantly weakened the offense as Bloom never made a supplemental move. Despite missing 30 games with calf and hamstring injuries, Renfroe still has 19 homers and an .806 OPS with the Brewers. He scored twice on his return to Boston last weekend.
The story goes on

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