The Kansas City Royals are reportedly interested in trading for Jackie Bradley Jr., the Boston Red Sox outfielder who showed progress at the plate in a shade over 250 plate appearances in 2015. He hit .249/.335/.498, good for a wRC+ of 121 and managed to put together a 2.4 fWAR season in less than half of a full tilt. All good things in his favor.
Prior to this season, however, he was not good at the plate. The word Infantish comes to mind, save for the fact that it isn't a word. In 2014 he hit .198/.265/.266 in 423 plate appearances. In 2013, he hit .189/.280/.337 (in 107 PAs). Those are less good, possibly even bad, things.
And yet neither is really the point. Which brings us to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
If you aren't familiar with the BFV, it was an infantry fighting vehicle conceptualized in the early 1960s when Cold War concerns were at its peak. The BFV was meant to be an armored personnel carrier, the kind of vehicle that could survive with speed in multiple conditions and terrains. By the late 1960s, it went through multiple variants and prototypes. By the mid-1970s, concerns over its aluminum armor (to reduce weight and increase speed) were raised, so they fitted it with more heft and turned it into a scout. With its increased heft came a desire to utilize it as a front-line unit, so anti-tank missiles and a turret cannon were added. At one point they looked at making it amphibious, because if there's a military vehicle in design, they will look to see if they can make it swim.
But then the M1A1 came along, and who needs more than one Big Boss? So, it went to being an armored personnel carrier/scout, but they kept the anti-tank missiles, because who doesn't wan an APC carrying shells? So, in 1983, twenty years after its inception, the Bradley was finally deployed. It cost nearly $6 billion (with a B) and a decade later a tell-all book and low-budget HBO movie starring Cary Elwes and Kelsey Grammer were made about it. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. That's how little regard it has (though it is mildly entertaining). Go ahead. I'll wait.
Yeah, that was Dr. Cox. I know, right? AND TOBY ZIEGLER!
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make isn't fiduciary. The Bradley was expensive, but Jackie Jr. is not. The Bradley ended up being a pretty successful vehicle and shined during the Gulf War, and Jackie Jr. is likely a better offensive player than his first two seasons (though I would not bet on him hitting for an .833 OPS again either).
The problem is that it is an unnecessary cost given the Royals current options. Though JBJ is a very good defender, he is not as good a defender as Jarrod Dyson. Though he is a better hitter than Dyson, he certainly does not run the bases as well. Dyson is a career .255/.320/.343 hitter (84 wRC+). Bradley Jr. is a career .213/.290/.349 hitter (74 wRC+). Not to mention that his line drive rate was down, ground balls were down, and his BABIP was a career high.
And though you can hope on hope that J-to-the-B-to-the-J has turned the corner on hitting major league pitching, he'd have to hit at near-2015 levels to match Dyson's production. Through his career, Jarrod has been a sneaky-valuable player because he derives his virtue from the areas that are hard to measure. His fWAR/600 plate appearances is 4.8. Bradley Jr.'s is 1.99.
But say that's all wrong. Dyson over a full season is not going to be worth what Alex Gordon has been, and Jizzle Brizzle Junizzle is a better-than-average player. Fine. You still have to trade for him, and what you give up for a player entering his season before his first season of arbitration is going to cost something.
Four years of control isn't cheap, and the Royals don't exactly have a farm system right now. Outside of Kyle Zimmer (and the measured distance you are willing to give Raul A. Mondesi), there's a lot of "maybe if's" and "possibly could's" and the gaping wound left from the five-pitchers-for-a-World's-Series maneuver.
It could be fine, though, but it's probably unnecessary, and more expensive than it should be.