Jackie Bradley Jr. rumors: Red Sox commit to rookie CF for 2014

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox appear content to enter 2014 with no immediate backup to top prospect Bradley as he takes over in center field.

The Red Sox appear unlikely to sign a free agent outfielder, meaning Jackie Bradley, Jr. will likely be the team's full-time starter in center field even if he falters a bit, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Bradley has been the assumed starter in center field since former starter Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees. However, he has played in just 37 major league games, leading to talk that Boston could bring in a platoon-mate for the left-handed hitting Bradley.

Rajai Davis had been an option for the Red Sox, but he signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Tigers last week. No other free agents on the market appeal to Boston as there are few center fielders who deserve consistent playing time at a price the team could afford.

Bradley, 23, was Boston's first round draft pick in 2011. In parts of three minor league seasons, he has a .297/.404/.471 line with decent speed and some pop in his bat. He entered 2013 ranked the No. 31 prospect in the nation by Baseball America. By mid-season, he had moved up to No. 21.

However, Bradley struggled in a few brief major-league call-ups last year. In 107 total plate appearances, he batted just .189 with a 617 OPS. He was a little better late in the season after September roster expansion, hitting for a .243/.317/.378 line, but even that was not an inspiring stint. Bradley may be better with steady playing time, however, and his defense should provide value in center field.

For now, the Red Sox appear content to let him take over with no back-up option. If it proves too early for him to start, Boston could move Gold Glove right fielder Shane Victorino to center and play both Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava on the corners. For now, those four and Mike Carp are the only outfielders on the roster.

More from SB Nation MLB:

2013-14 MLB free agent tracker | Brian Roberts, Yankees agree to deal

The most adorable Baseball-Reference page ever | #Lookit

Goldman: Diamondbacks on wrong end of trade, again

Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka may stay overseas

Death of a Ballplayer: Wrongly convicted prospect spends 27 years in prison

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.