12/4 Looking ahead to Indy
It appears as many as three teams are interested in Milton Bradley, and GM Jim Hendry will spend next week at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis trying to find the right match.
The Cubs may be able to take care of some of the items on Hendry’s wish list with the right trade. The tweaks are minor for 2010, and include finding a center fielder, a veteran right-handed reliever, and a right-handed bench player who could play the outfield.
Bradley would seem to be difficult to move, partly because he is owed $21 million over the next two years and because of his lack of production on the field. But other teams have players and contracts that, for whatever reason, they want to move as well. The Cubs also could take on a player in exchange for Bradley, and then deal that player to another club.
As for center field, it would seem that Reed Johnson would be a perfect fit for the Cubs. The Cubs did not want to offer him arbitration because of budget limitations. But that doesn’t mean Johnson can’t come back. If he can’t find a better deal as a free agent, expect the two sides to resume talks.
The Cubs have had conversations with Detroit about Curtis Granderson, but it’s difficult to believe the Tigers will trade the popular center fielder.
As much as some fans would like to have Mark DeRosa back, he also is out of the team’s price range.
* Cubs athletic trainer Mark O’Neal reports Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto are sticking to their rehab routines and are making progress. Ted Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, will be re-examined after Jan. 1, and then could begin a throwing program.
— Carrie Muskat