Alex Cora undoubtedly is going to miss Jackie Bradley Jr. the player, but he’ll also miss Jackie Bradley Jr. the person, as well.
The longtime Boston Red Sox center fielder reportedly reached a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers early Thursday morning. A mainstay in center field and perhaps the best to ever play the position in franchise history, Bradley also was always regarded as an incredibly nice person.
And that was part of the emphasis for Cora when asked Thursday about his reaction to the news.
“A solid player, better person,” Cora started. “Very consistent at everything he did, it was a pleasure to have him in the clubhouse, to know him off the field and get to know his family. Just an outstanding kid.
“He did some great things while he was here, he was amazing in ’18, with four swings he changed the complexion of the playoffs, right? He had four hits, I think it was, but it seemed like every hit was a big one.
“I texted him this morning that he has a fan from afar, I’ll be paying attention and, obviously, off the field we’re going to keep having a relationship.”
Now, Bradley is off to form a truly elite defensive outfield with Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich in Milwaukee. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have a variety of options after building the roster with the purpose of max flexibility in mind.
Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe, Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez, Marwin Gonzalez and J.D. Martinez all will vie for playing time in the outfield, as will exciting center field prospect Jarren Duran.