Results tagged ‘ Milton Bradley ’

12/18 Bradley to M's for Silva

The Cubs apparently have pulled off a shocker, trading volatile outfielder Milton Bradley to the Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva.

The deal will be made official once Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig approves the transaction because of the money involved.

SI.com reported the two teams were talking, and the Seattle Times reported the deal on Friday. Silva has two years remaining on a four-year, $48 million contract which he got prior to the 2008 season from former Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi.

Bradley is owed $21 million over two years — $9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011. Silva has $25 million remaining — $11.5 million in both 2010 and ’11 and a $2 million buyout on a 2012 option.

According to the Seattle Times, Silva no longer has a role on the Mariners. He was 4-15 in 28 starts in 2008, and 1-3 with a 8.60 ERA in eight games (six starts) last season.

Bradley batted .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs for the Cubs this season, but was suspended for the final 15 games for detrimental conduct.

– Carrie Muskat

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

12/12 Bradley & the Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent reliever Rafael Soriano for $7.25 million, which pushes the team to the max salary-wise. What does that have to do with the Cubs? It could affect whether the Cubs can deal Milton Bradley to the Rays for Pat Burrell. Both Bradley and Burrell will make $9 million next season. But Bradley is owed $13 million in 2011, and that may be more than the Rays are willing to take on.

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman wouldn’t specifically address Bradley-Burrell, but told the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: “Our focus is on continuing to try to make this 2010 team better. It’s going to take a little bit more creativity, but our focus is still on doing that. But I think there’s definitely a chance that, for the most part, this is the team that we go into April with. That being said, five days ago, I didn’t think we’d end up with Rafael Soriano.”

The Cubs have to decide how much of Bradley’s salary they’re willing to pick up if they want to move him. And they do want to move him.

How eager do fans want to see Bradley go? Someone on Twitter urged people to send $3 to “No More Milton Bradley” to pay for his salary to help move him, and listed an address. That address was for Wrigley Field. No, it wasn’t Jim Hendry who posted the tweet.  

– Carrie Muskat

 

12/9 The latest on Milton

The Cubs may be running out of options regarding Milton Bradley.

There were no surprise teams in either league interested in the switch-hitting outfielder on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings, just one unlikely scenario. ESPN reported the Cubs would be open to a Mike Lowell for Bradley trade. A Cubs official didn’t dismiss the report, saying they were willing to look into any deal.

Tampa Bay appears to be the best match with a Bradley for Pat Burrell deal, but that most likely won’t be consumated unless the Cubs pick up a majority of the $21 million still owed Bradley over two years. The Rays are only committed to Burrell for $9 million next year.

Bradley can thank the White Sox’s Kenny Williams for some promotional work, which the GM did at the risk of being charged with tampering.

“You know, the funny thing is, I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Milton in the past,” Williams said, “and it saddens me to a great extent, actually, some of the situations that he’s been put in or he’s put himself in.

“I’d like to see this guy just be able to go out there without all the distractions and everything and do what he can do because this guy can play — he can play,” Williams said. “I don’t know that I see a fit for us, and I probably shouldn’t even be talking about him because he’s not our player. But he can play. Milton Bradley can play.

“It’s too bad because he’s really a more thoughtful person and he’s a better person than I think it’s been portrayed or he’s shown, however the [heck] it’s manifested itself,” he said. “It’s too bad.”

GM Jim Hendry said he has a good relationship with Williams, adding they “root against each other six times a year” during the Interleague series. The Cubs did their homework on Bradley, and were concerned about how many games he’d be able to play than his mood swings. He disappointed on the field and off, batting .257 in 124 games, and was suspended for the final 15 games because of detrimental conduct.

“We did a lot of work on Milton and talked to a lot of people who he played for and played with before we signed him,” Hendry said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out how we drew it up last year. He played well the two or three years before we got him, and played in the All-Star Game and a lot of darn good managers liked having him on the club and we’re hoping he’ll get his career back on track.”

The only question remaining is with whom?

Before the Cubs arrived at the Indianapolis Marriott, Hendry said there were at least three teams interested in Bradley. On Wednesday, he indicated there were some new inquiries.

“You can’t define other people’s interest level,” Hendry said, “but I think when you get to the middle of December and you’re meeting and talking about certain players involved in trades, the other team has some interest.”

The Cubs have laid the groundwork to fill the other items on their wish list, which is finding a center fielder, an experienced right-handed reliever and some bench help. The team will have scouts in Arizona to watch J.J. Putz throw on the side this week. He’s coming back from elbow surgery in June for bone spurs.

Hendry has checked the free agent market for outfielders, which include Mike Cameron, a favorite of Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

“The thing that we came into here a little differently than normal is that there wasn’t as much volume to look into,” Hendry said. “We’ve had Winter Meetings where we needed more than two or three pieces, no matter who we wanted to trade or not trade. We’ve looked into all kinds of options.”

– Carrie Muskat

12/8 The latest on Milton

The Cubs may be close to finding Milton Bradley a new home.

There were reports Tuesday that the Cubs have found another American League team — not the Tampa Bay Rays or Texas Rangers — who are interested in the volatile outfielder. GM Jim Hendry has been tight-lipped about the negotiations to the point that he is keeping the majority of his staff out of the talks.

Hendry did meet late Monday with Bradley’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, at the Indianapolis Marriott.

A team official denied there would be an announcement Tuesday, but another said there was a possibility they could have word on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings.

One report said the Cubs were talking to the Seattle Mariners, who would like to move pitcher Carlos Silva. The right-hander is 6-18 over the last two seasons, and is owed $23 million over the next two years. But a Cubs official denied the Mariners were in the mix.

It would seem that the Angels might match up because they want to move Gary Matthews Jr., but a team official said Bradley isn’t going to Anaheim.

– Carrie Muskat

12/7 Lou on Zambrano, wish list, etc.

Lou Piniella was asked about his job status. “I’m going to sign a 15-year extension and I’ll go pull pitchers out in a golf cart,” the Cubs manager quipped Monday during his manager session at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis.

Piniella addressed some other topics during his half-hour chat:

* It’s no secret the Cubs are trying to trade Milton Bradley. Could he come back?

“Look, that’s not my department,” Piinella said, deferring questions to GM Jim Hendry.

* The team has gotten good reports on players this offseason, including Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ted Lilly, and Carlos Zambrano.

“That was the biggest problem we had with our baseball team last year — we couldn’t keep people on the field,” he said.

Zambrano is staying in Chicago this offseason, and has dropped 15 pounds.

“Carlos has something to prove this year,” Piniella said. “He’s coming off a nine-win season. Everybody knows that he’s a lot better than that. Truthfully, I don’t want to put any pressure on him, but this is a young man who should approach 20 wins every year with his stuff and physique. Hopefully, this is the year he gets to that.”

* The team has reportedly been talking to free agent CF Mike Cameron, who played for Piniella when the two were in Seattle.

“As a player and a person, I have the utmost respect for him,” Piniella said. “I had him in Seattle and got along with him well. He can play. He likes to play. As far as linking him with our team, you have to talk to Jim Hendry about those things. Mike certainly is a real good ballplayer.”

This offseason, Piniella’s wish list includes someone who can drive in runs and a more experienced right-handed pitcher for the bullpen. Last year, the emphasis was on finding a left-handed bat. “I don’t think it matters any more,” Piniella said. “Let’s keep people healthy on the field and let them produce. Sometimes you get in a situation where the player you specifically want is not there and you start forcing things. Let’s get the best player that we possibly can and go from there.”

* Do they have enough backup at third base? Piniella said Jeff Baker will handle that, and also play some outfield this spring.

* They’re not looking for another starting pitcher. The Cubs now have seven pitchers for five spots: Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall. Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in early November, could miss the first month of the season.

* The Cubs are set with Carlos Marmol as the closer. “Getting one more veteran would help stabilize things,” Piniella said.

* Phenom Starlin Castro was expected to open the 2010 season in the Minors. “It’s a question of readiness and not having to rush,” Piniella said. “Truthfully, I’m very happy with [Ryan] Theriot. Eventually, this young man [Castro] will be the shortstop here. He only had 50, 60, 70 at-bats in Double-A. I would think the natural progression would be for him to play in Triple-A but we’ll see.”

* No more questions about where Alfonso Soriano will play. He’ll bat sixth in the Cubs’ lineup. “I think that’s what’s best for him,” Piniella said.

* Is it more challenging to win in Chicago than elsewhere?

“I think it’s challenging anywhere,” Piniella said. “People don’t realize, it’s hard to win, period. It really is; it’s not easy. We’ve had three winning seasons since I’ve been in Chicago, two divisional titles. We haven’t had success in the postseason. That probably has been my biggest disappointment. Last year, if somebody had told any of us that we would have your top people out for 30 days or more as many as we had, you’d say ‘ouch.’ You take away top people from any team, there’s going to be a dropoff. Stay healthy this year, do a few things over the winter, we’ll get it done in Chicago this summer.”

– Carrie Muskat

12/7 Milton & the Mets

Word in the lobby at the Indianapolis Marriott is that the third team talking to the Cubs about Milton Bradley is the Mets. They’d like to move second baseman Luis Castillo, a switch-hitter who batted .302 this season. He has two years and $12 million remaining on his contract. Bradley has two years and $21 million left on his. The Mets want another power bat and could be convinced Bradley is the guy.

The Rangers and Rays also have talked to the Cubs about Bradley, and both of those teams have large contracts they’re trying to move. It will likely still come down to how much the Cubs are willing to pick up.

One other item on GM Jim Hendry’s shopping list this week is finding a more experienced right-handed reliever for the bullpen.

– Carrie Muskat

12/6 Milton & the Rays

The Rays apparently feel the same way about the money owed Milton Bradley that the Rangers do. Both teams want the Cubs to pick some of it up. Tampa Bay would like to have a hitter like Bradley in their lineup. Last year, when he was a free agent, Bradley was courted by Tampa Bay officials. According to the St. Petersburg Times, executive vice president Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon took Bradley to lunch to get a better read on the outfielder.

“For me, I would have no problems whatsoever if he became part of our organization,” Maddon told the Times. “If that were to ever happen I’m pretty sure we’d get along pretty well.”

The casual lunch revealed a different side of Bradley, whose first year in Chicago ended with a 15-game suspension for detrimental conduct. Maddon had heard good things from Bud Black, who managed Bradley in San Diego in 2007.

“You get all this what you hear, what you see and obviously some of the things that he has done,” Maddon told the Times. “Then you sit with him and you get a totally different perspective on him. … I found him to be a bright, thoughtful, family-oriented kind of a guy. So I thought he was interesting.”

The Rays would like to move outfielder Pat Burrell, who batted .221 with 14 homers and 64 RBIs in 122 games last season. The Cubs do want a right-handed hitter who can play right field against left-handers in place of Kosuke Fukudome, who was 9-for-55 against southpaws. Bradley is owed $9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011. Burrell is owed $9 million next year.

– Carrie Muskat

12/6 Bradley & the Rangers

Milton Bradley had his best season with the Rangers in 2008 when he led the American League in on-base percentage, hit 22 homers and drove in 77 runs. The Rangers want to add a big bat to their lineup for next season, and have inquired about bringing Bradley back. But a Texas source said Sunday that Bradley was very high maintenance and the team wasn’t sure it wanted to deal with that “headache” again. Texas is looking for some bullpen help, which the Cubs could provide in a trade. However, the Rangers do not want Bradley if the Cubs aren’t willing to pick up a chunk of the $21 million still owed the switch-hitting outfielder.

The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be one of at least three teams interested in Bradley, whom the Cubs are trying to move.

– Carrie Muskat

 

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

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