The Toronto Blue Jays signed former Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., the club announced on Twitter.
Bradley, a Gold Glove winner and the ALCS MVP in 2018, was a career .236/.315/.404 hitter in 964 games for the Sox and is considered by some the best defensive center fielder in modern team history.
“It’s not a surprise,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Tuesday’s contest with the Braves regarding Bradley finding a new team. “He’s an elite defender. And whatever role they are going to use him in will be good. We went in a different direction with our roster construction.”
Bradley was released last week to create room on the 40-man roster spot after the acquisitions of first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Tommy Pham at the trade deadline.
In 92 games with the Sox this season, Bradley hit .210/.257/.321 with three homers. Of the 231 players with at least 250 plate appearances this year, his .578 OPS ranked 220th.
The Sox made the decision to go with Jarren Duran as their center fielder, though he has not fared much better. Duran went 4 for 24 on the Sox’ recent road trip and has hit .140 in his last 24 games — though he did hit a go-ahead solo homer Tuesday.
Duran’s struggles have trickled over to the field, too, where he often gets bad reads on the ball, leading to a minus-7 mark in defensive runs saved in just 341⅔ innings, entering Tuesday.
The Sox hope to have help on the way soon in center. Kiké Hernández, who has been on the injured list since the beginning of June, with a right hip flexor strain, will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday for Double A Portland. Hernández took batting practice with the team Tuesday.