FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jackie Bradley Jr. is back with the Red Sox who acquired him from the Brewers right before MLB locked out its players Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m., eastern. He has quite the story to tell about the night the deal happened.
“It all happened so fast but at the moment I really didn’t have full time to process it because I was at a wedding,” Bradley said. “So I was focused on that.”
He wasn’t just at any old wedding. He was attending former teammate Mookie Betts’ wedding.
“So here’s the real story,” Bradley said. “I actually come out of the wedding. So it’s during the reception now. It was Markus’ wedding actually.”
Bradley always calls Betts by his real first name, Markus.
“We weren’t allowed to have our phones,” Bradley said. “So there was a special, designated area to where you could have your phone. So I just happened to come out and call my wife.”
Bradley, who was on the West coast, called his wife Erin, who was on the East coast, just to check in to see how she and the kids were doing.
”Five seconds after I hang up the phone, I get a call,” Bradley said.
It was Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns who let him know he was headed back to the Red Sox in a trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee.
“He was like, ‘It’s back to the Red Sox.’ And I was like, ‘Wow. Wow.’ I mean, I didn’t really have anything to say. I was kind of in shock. I was still actually present somewhere else.”
He called his wife back and then spoke with Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
Bradley then met up with several other players, including J.D. Martinez, at the reception.
“I gave him (Martinez) a hug. I was like, ‘Hey, teammate. It’s good to see you again.’”
He said he still had a lot of fun at the reception despite being caught off guard with such big news.
“I definitely enjoyed the rest of the night,” Bradley said. “I tried to kind of push it to the side momentarily. But it was a lot to grasp at one moment.”
He said he was excited after he had time to process.
“It felt good,” Bradley said. “Obviously a sense of familiarity. But I’m always thankful for an opportunity.”
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