10/31 Trick or treat?
A Toronto newspaper is reporting a possible swap between the Blue Jays and Cubs in which Milton Bradley goes north and Chicago lands center fielder Vernon Wells. The Toronto Sun quotes an unidentified Cubs official saying, “It’s early on, but we think this one has some legs. But they aren’t the only team we are talking with.”
The Cubs have made it clear they want to move Bradley, and there has been interest. The outfielder batted .257 in his first season in Chicago, which ended early when he was suspended for the final 15 games of the season because of detrimental conduct. Bradley has two years remaining on his deal at $21 million. But the catch here is that Wells has six years left on his contract extension, which he signed in December 2006, and $107 million remaining. That includes an $8.5 million installment on his signing bonus due in March.
The deal simply doesn’t make much sense for the Cubs, already saddled with Alfonso Soriano’s contract, which runs through 2014. A Cubs source told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday that the Bradley-for-Wells deal had “no legs.”
Expect a flurry of Bradley rumors this offseason. If we’re talking about swapping one bad contract for another, the Cubs may want to consider Gary Matthews Jr., who wants out of Anaheim. He signed a five-year, $50 million contract in 2007. That year, he batted .252 in 516 at-bats. This season, Sarge Jr. hit .250 in 316 at-bats.
The only thing certain is the Cubs plan on moving Bradley, despite hiring his former hitting coach, Rudy Jaramillo.
– Carrie Muskat