It looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. is going to break camp with the big league club.
The Red Sox have not made an announcement regarding Bradley, but outfielder Ryan Sweeney has not been offered a major league contract, according to multiple reports. Sweeney figured to be competing with Bradley and Mike Carp for one of Boston’s two final roster spots.
Sweeney has 24 hours to decide whether he’ll accept a minor league assignment with the Red Sox, but according to WEEI.com, the veteran is not inclined to do so.
Bradley’s Opening Day status has been up in the air despite the 22-year-old being hands-down the team’s best player this spring. Bradley’s average sits at .441 (26-for-59) following Thursday’s game, during which he went 1-for-1 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base after entering the game as a pinch runner in the seventh. His on-base percentage is a Grapefruit League-best .521.
The argument against starting Bradley in the majors to begin the season has been that he only needs 11 days in the minors for the Red Sox to gain another year of team control. Ultimately, though, it looks as if the Sox are willing to make that sacrifice in order to continue riding Bradley’s momentum.
“We’ve allowed him to go this deep in camp, so we’re not afraid or unwilling to break camp with him,” manager John Farrell told reporters Thursday. “If that were the case, we would have sent him out four weeks ago.”
Bradley has thrived, even despite the added pressure over the last couple of weeks. Now, he’s just a formal announcement away from officially becoming a big leaguer.
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