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]



  1. kiddynamite says:

    I don't think you can compare a veteran Milton Bradley to Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes when they were just starting off. Those 2 guys were kids, Bradley is a grown man with tons of experience. Bradley has always been a great teammate and clubhouse guy when things are going well (team winning and he is hitting & healthy), the problems all come when he is facing some kind of adversity. It's definitely a risk, I think it comes down to how much of Bradley's contract the Cubs will pay for.

    • i agree that this is going to come down to money. If the Cubs will meet the Rays cash demands, the deal will get done. I doubt the Rays will be very flexible. It will either be yes or no.

      As for the comparison to Dukes/Young. You may be right. That might not be a fair comparison. But, most have always felt that JoeMa's specialty is working with the younger players. Maybe that has nothing to do with Dukes/Young. I dont know. But really, the point is just that some want to paint JoeMa as the ultimate player's manager that can keep anybody happy, when his past suggests that there are players that even he cant handle.

  2. Sam A says:

    This would be a bad idea for the Rays unless the math works out so they can just dump Bradley if he becomes too much of a distraction.

    We all know how badly the Cubs want to dump their problem. What we don't know is how badly the Rays want to dump theirs. Do they really believe Burrell will bounce back in 2010 or are they just talking him up in order to keep his trade value as high as possible?

    • It is difficult for me to imagine that the Rays would just dump anybody without getting anything in return, even if they are already ahead in the deal. It is just not their style. Now if you mean "dump" in the sense that they won't owe him any salary in 2011 and they can get somebody to take him for a mid-level prospect, then that is something. but I cant see the Rays just releasing a player, even if another team is paying the salary.

      And even then, it is not a no-risk situation. What if Bradley does blow up next season? Sure the Rays are off the hook for 2011, but there is a real chance that something could happen to ruin the 2010 season. They would be one tantrum away from Willy Aybar being the everyday DH. not that that is terrible, but when you are expecting $8-12M worth of production at DH, Aybar is not really the answer.

  3. Beth says:

    Wow, he (Bradley) sounds like a quite a large personality.

    But on the other hand, according to an article I saw, at the time of his banishment this summer, he was getting booed by fans for hitting .257. If Pat the Bat had gotten within spitting distance of .250 this year we would have held a parade for him. And Milton and Pat had about the same number of home runs.

    Maybe we Tampa Bay denizens just have more tolerance for mediocrity? At any rate, I agree it's all about the money -- it only makes sense if Chicago is paying a portion of Bradley's contract, as well as taking Burrell's off our hands.

  4. Jason W says:

    Well at least Bradley hit better against lefties this year and You would kind of think him at DH he would not see the DL as much as he wouldn't be running in the outfield as much. Last time he was in AL he did .322(in like 120 or so games yes but still). I think he would be better than Burrell as long as he keeps out of trouble

  5. Don says:

    Trade Burrell for a monkey as far as I'm concerned...just get rid of the payroll somehow (or most of it)...
    Sure kick poor Willie Aybar around....most of you must not know he was a .300 in the years before he got here and he hit more home runs than Burrell and only played 1/2 the time.....he could hit 30 hrs. in a year..
    He could be my DH anytime!

    • KillaTapes says:

      I'm a big fan of Aybar and agree that he could be a very good hitter if given the playing time, but what are you talking about? Aybar has never hit more homeruns than Burrell and only hit above .300 twice and that was with 26 Games and 36 Games played, respectively.

    • Aybar says:

      Yeah Don, you are a dope....Look at Burrell's power/RBI/OBP numbers before he came to Tampa and find something similar for the price....He had a bad year, that's it.

  6. Ace says:

    For your consideration: the Cubs will not eat the entire difference between Bradley's deal and Burrell's. That would be absurd. They would then be essentially paying for one year of Burrell what they would have been paying for two years of Bradley. They are eager to get rid of Bradley, but that would be bonkers.


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