Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Cubs want to move Milton Bradley quickly, and that the Rays are the team they are targeting.
Sources say the Cubs have been pushing the Tampa Bay Rays for a quick deal. The Rays were one of Bradley’s top suitors last winter until the Cubs let the world know they had a three-year, $30 million offer on the table. The Rays loved Bradley’s on-base magic and manager Joe Maddon is so self-assured — to a fault — he believed he could handle Bradley’s unique personality as deftly as Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington did in 2008…Burrell, 32, is officially owed $9 million next season, though $2 million of his salary was paid in advance. Bradley is owed $9 million next season and $12 million in 2011. So the Cubs could repay the Rays some of the $2 million advanced to Burrell and pay some or all of the 2011 Bradley salary to get off the hook relatively cheaply.
If the Cubs are willing to give the Rays $13 million, this deal is going to happen, but there are still questions to be answered…
- The Cubs already have one terrible defensive outfielder in Alfonso Soriano (-11.6 UZR). Are they really going to take on Pat Burrell’s glove and put both players in the same outfield?
- Can Bradley stay healthy? In 9 seasons, Bradley has missed at least a month’s worth of games 8 times. Even as the Rangers most-days DH in 2008, he still missed 36 games. And 15 days on the DL for most teams is about 25 with the Rays. They never let a player come back at anything less than 100%.
- If Joe Maddon is such a perfect manager for Bradley-types, then why did he have so many problems with Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes?
- If Bradley is better suited to play for a small-market team, then why were the Rangers recently so quick to dismiss the idea of bringing Bradley back? Oh yeah.
Of course, if this trade is possible, it will ultimately come down to money. The Rays are in no mood to add payroll. So if the Cubs want to send Bradley south, they will have to make up the difference between what Burrell is owed ($9 million) and what Bradley is owed ($21 million).
We love the idea of Bradley’s bat in the Rays’ lineup at half the cost of Burrell. But if the Rays want that great wOBA and OPS, we all better be prepared for at least one extended stay on the DL and at least one incident during the season that will make us all shake our heads in disgust.
Cubs seek ‘Ray’ of hope in Milton Bradley fiasco [Chicago Sun-Times]