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Buster Olney on M&M: Jackie Bradley Jr. could be ‘difference-maker’

04.03.13 at 12:58 pm ET
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ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox and other news from around the majors.

Olney said Jackie Bradley‘s ability to be patient at the plate and not give in to overeagerness is a sign of maturity that bodes well for the future.

“When you’re drawing walks in spring training games as opposed to being a young hitter who’s anxious and fired up, that says a lot about your personality,” Olney said. “If you’re drawing three walks on Opening Day, in your first game in the big leagues and you’re taking pitches off the edges ‘€¦”

Added Olney: “I was thinking about John Havlicek. When they would take him out of the games when he played for the Celtics, they would check his heart rate sometimes and it would be about 40, which separated him from just about everybody else who played. That seems like what Jackie Bradley Jr. has, where it’s that absolute calm and understanding. And if that continues and there’s not some gaping hole, then you’re talking about a player who’s a difference-maker, and you’re talking about for the year an outfield that’s difference-making.”

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano left agent Scott Boras this week for Jay-Z‘s firm. Jacoby Ellsbury, like Cano a free agent after this season, is represented by Boras. Much to Red Sox fans’ chagrin, it appears he isn’t planning to make a switch.

“I haven’t heard any rumblings that he’s unhappy, and I can tell you that the perception of Jacoby among other players is that he’s strongly tied to Scott,” Olney said. “And if that’s the case, then he will play out his option and he probably is going to be a guy who’s out on the market for a long time this winter because Scott will play it out. He wants to have those guys on the market to use for leverage. That’s why I think there’s little to no chance that he re-signs with the Red Sox.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: buster olney, jackie bradley jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, Scott Boras
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