12/18 Milton Bradley & Matt Capps
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in about two months, and Milton Bradley is still with the Cubs. FOX Sports reports the Rays, Rangers and Mariners are still interested in Bradley but no deal is close. The Cubs and Rays have been talking about swapping Bradley for Pat Burrell, but Tampa Bay wants GM Jim Hendry to agree to pick up a large part of the second year of Bradley’s contract. The Rangers are a longshot. Bradley’s time in Texas didn’t end on good terms. The M’s could be hesitant to take on a controversial player like Bradley. They recently added Chone Figgins and Cliff Lee.
The sticking point, as we’ve reported before, is the $21 million Bradley is owed over the next two years. The Cubs don’t want to pay any of that, and they don’t want to release the volatile outfielder.
Matt Capps could have a new team by Christmas. The free agent closer apparently plans on picking five or six teams as finalists by the weekend, then making a decision as to where he wants to pitch. Capps, who was not tendered arbitration by the Pirates, has been approached by several teams, including the Cubs. He’d like to close, but Capps’ agent Paul Kinzer told FOX Sports that he’d accept a set-up role with a contender. Besides the Cubs, the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Rangers, Rockes, Marlins, Nationals, Mets, Tigers and Yankees are interested in the right-hander.
Capps, 26, had 27 saves this season with the Pirates, appearing in 57 games. He walked 17 and struck out 46 over 54 1/3 innings.
– Carrie Muskat