[Update: 10:05am] Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Bradley is “in intense discussions with the Cubs.” That makes a little more sense.

[9:29am] As we reported yesterday, Milton Bradley had lunch with Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon. Maddon said Bradley was “very honest, open and intense. I liked all three.” Madon added that the Rays have plans to meet with other outfielder/DH types.

According to Ken Rosenthal (via MLB Trade Rumors), Rangers officials believe the Rays and Royals are the leading candidates to land Bradley.

Dayton Moore of the Kansas City Star says the Royals are not involved. That might leave the Rays as the leading candidates for Bradley. In fact, we are yet to hear any other teams with serious interest. Surprising for a guy that hit .321/.436/.536 last year with an OPS+ of 163.

However, Bradley does have a history of knee problems and last year’s 126 games marked only the second time in 9 seasons in which Bradley played more than 110 games. Significant playing time at DH could go a long ways to keeping Bradley on the field.

Milton Bradley Has Lunch With Andrew Friedman And Co. [Rays Index]
Rays smitten by Bradley’s ‘honesty’ [Yahoo! Sports]
9:56 p.m. — Bradley seeking new home? [Fox Sports]
Bradley To Rays Or Royals? [MLB Trade Rumors]
Royals still searching for ways to add impact free agent [Kansas City Star]


  • Tyler Hissey of Rays Digest will debut “The Rays Rundown”, a live call-in show this morning at 11:00. [Rays Digest]
  • Does anybody else find it strange that Marc Topkin will report on some rumors from the winter meetings and he “will ignore” others? How does he decide which rumors are worth reporting? Does Topkin have some special power of deduction that can tell which rumors are true and which rumors are not? Aren’t all rumors from the winter meetings at least somewhat newsworthy, in that each rumor has at least some people are talking about it (usually other people like Topkin), even if some are ridiculous? Or does Topkin pass on some rumors because they come to him while he is busy watching “The Bachelor”? [The Heater]
  • Yesterday we learned that the Rays might be involved in the Padres efforts to move Jake Peavy to the Cubs. Later we heard that the Padres and Cubs had figured out a way to make the deal happen without a third team. Now, Corey Brock is reporting that the particulars of the deal have been agreed upon and that there is a third team involved and possibly a fourth. Might the Rays be one of the other teams? [Hot Stove Blog]
  • MLB Trade Rumors says a third team is the Orioles, but there is no word if a fourth team is confirmed to be involved, noting that attempts to get a third team involved included talks with “four to five clubs.” The Padres are said to want major league-ready pitching. If the Rays were involved, it almost certainly means the Rays would send the Padres Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson or Jeff Niemann. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Buster Olney says he would “be shocked” if Rocco Baldelli does not sign with the Red Sox. [ESPN]
  • Joe Maddon spoke highly of free agent Garret Anderson and Kevin Baxter of the LA Times wonders if Anderson might be a good fit for the Rays. [LA Times]
  • We are surprised there are not more rumors involving the Cardinals and the Rays. The Cardinals would like to move a left-handed hitting outfielder (Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, Chris Duncan, Colby Rasmus) and are looking for pitching. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the two teams would be a good match. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
  • Mike Berardino of the Miami Sun-Sentinel shoots down the possibility of the Marlins targeting Jason Bartlett in a Jeremy Hermida deal. Berardino says that the Marlins would prefer to keep Hanley Ramirez at shortstop rather than move him to the outfield. [Miami Sun-Sentinel]
  • Joe Maddon let it be known that he has been invited to a small dinner with President George Bush and his wife at the White House. [Rays Report]
  • Joe Maddon spoke with reporters from the Winter Meetings. [MSN Video]
  • Joe Maddon said he hoped to see Rays fans on his honeymoon in Europe. He succeeded. [Big League Stew]
  • The Hudson Valley Renegades will pay tribute to Stephon Marbury next season. [Rays Prospects]
  • And yes, this is the first time in the history of Rays Index in which a post referenced President George Bush and Stephon Marbury. Yes. We Love Lamp.


  1. Nick says:

    I'm cool with any of the three lefty outfielders from the Cards except Duncan. Please God, not Chris Duncan. Although, it would be a good excuse to trot out the picture of him humping the WS trophy.

  2. Justin says:

    Why does it make more sense Prof?

  3. The Professor says:

    The Cubs are desperate for a right fielder and have much more money to throw around even if the Tribune Co. is bankrupt. And despite his troubled history, Bradley may be the best right fielder available.

  4. Robert Rittner says:

    It could be that Topkin passes on rumors that have some semblance of legitimacy based on his access to Rays' officials or his inferences from what Rays' officials have said added to his basic knowledge of their modus operandi from his long and intimate association with them.

    Do you really want a beat writer passing on every rumor he hears without discrimination? Doesn't every writer have to use some discretion?

  5. The Professor says:

    if Topkin has some insight on a rumor, why would he not report on it?

    If he knows/feels a rumor is false, why not let us know?

    And I am not saying he needs to write a column about every rumor. But what is the harm in putting up a quick post on his blog. Besides, his access to the Rays is EXACTLY why he should comment more than others.

    Otherwise, why is he even in Las Vegas? If he is only going to report on stuff that actually happens, we can get that from ESPN.com

  6. Robert Rittner says:

    I really miss your point. He is doing exactly what you say. He has commented on the Delmon rumors, indicating his skepticism. And he has reported on the Rays' activity, particularly regarding Giambi and Bradley. So as you ask, he is letting us know about a rumor he figures is false while passing on information about rumors that might have some legs.

    I think it purely a matter of judgment whether he should bother to report on more or fewer rumors. For me, I prefer fewer because otherwise the likely, unlikely and impossible get all mixed together with no real discrimination among them. Others need the hourly fix of constant rumors.

    You may feel he splits the difference too close to the lean side; others may feel he is too profligate and others that he strikes a proper balance. I see no reason to consider one judgment more legitimate than another. My interpretation is that he passes on those he considers worthwhile, avoids those for which he has no confirmation of any sort and comments on those that have gained currency but which he considers fallacious.

    Actually, his day 1 posting alludes to numerous rumors and comments on their likelihood. He did the same thing again on day 2 mentioning, for example, Cardinal/Rays possibilities among others. What I particularly admire in all the posts is the use of conditional phrasing to emphasize the questionable nature of all such rumors. That seems to me far superior reporting to the sort that asserts something will happen or sets the reporter up as an authority when he has no claim to that position, as happened in the comments on the Dye/Bailey "deal" or some of Stark's comments about Young.

  7. The Professor says:

    i have no complaints about what he has written/not written yet. i am only referring to his own comment that he will "ignore" some rumors.

    my only concern is: if Topkin knows a rumor is false/ridiculous/baloney/big pile of turd, then i would prefer he tell us that he thinks (or knows) that a rumor is false rather than just ignore it completely.

  8. Robert Rittner says:

    So far, any rumor that gains some currency he has commented upon (e.g. Young and Bartlett). If he hears some rumor that makes little sense AND it is not going anywhere he is right to ignore it. Commenting on it just provides it a bit of imprimateur. There are literally 100s of rumors practically every hour at these meetings, and while some reporters feel obligated to muddy the waters (and get more words under their name) by repeating all of them (knowing that one may actually turn into something and s/he can then take credit for breaking it), the proper approach is to pick and choose which are worth calling attention to.

    Ignore here clearly does not mean not commenting on rumors that are gaining some play. It simply means picking and choosing which ones are worth mentioning. If someone suggests that the Rays are considering a trade of Shields for Atkins, should Topkin report it? You can bet someone is "rumoring" something just as stupid, like Greinke for Francouer. Of course, if the Shields/Atkins or Greinke/Francouer rumor begins to take hold, he will comment, but why rile people up with such nonsense? Remember, the people who read this stuff are not always particularly sophisticated about fact/fiction. How else to explain the angst over the Rays uniforms indicating they intend to leave the Tampa Bay area?


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