Jackie Bradley Jr. Returns To Red Sox; Hunter Renfroe Traded To Brewers

Talk about a midnight blockbuster

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The Boston Red Sox announced Wednesday night outfielder Hunter Renfroe was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Jackie Bradley Jr and two prospects.

Bradley spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Red Sox before joining the Brewers as a free agent ahead of the 2021 season. He had a down season in Milwaukee, where he made 134 appearances but just hit .163 with six home runs.

Of course, Bradley was part of 2018 World Series champion Red Sox, where he starred in the outfield alongside Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. He was a Gold Glove award recipient in that championship season and was a finalist in 2014, 2016 and 2019.

His final season in Boston was his best thus far, with a .283 batting average and .364 on-base percentage. He had no errors that season.

The 2016 All-Star ranks sixth in Red Sox franchise history with 752 starts in center field.

“This was one that a few days ago I would not have thought would have been on our radar,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Wednesday. “As things developed over the course of the last few days, something that we felt made sense.

“Obviously, everybody here knows Jackie very well. True center fielders are hard to find and we feel we now have two of the best at that position. What he brings to our roster is a very hard thing to find. Obviously moving Hunter leaves a hole but we felt having two premium defensive center fielders is a huge boost to our roster and we’re also excited about the minor league players that we got. So we felt this was something that made sense for us right now and also has a chance to pay dividends down the road.”

Renfroe joined the Red Sox as a free agent in December 2020 and appeared in a career-high 144 games in 2021. The 29-year-old finished the season with a .259 batting average, 89 runs scored, 33 doubles and 96 RBIs, among other statistical highs. His 16 outfield assists were tied for the MLB lead and ranked as a Red Sox record dating back to the expansion era.

“(Renfroe was) such a huge part of what we did this past year,” Bloom said. “I know Hunter loved Boston and it sure felt like Boston loved Hunter. We wish him nothing but the best. Class act, great player and a great teammate.”

The Red Sox also acquired minor leaguers Alex Binelas and David Hamilton.

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