Results tagged ‘ Milton Bradley ’

12/2 Bradley rumors

The New York Post is reporting there is still a possibility the Cubs will trade Milton Bradley to the Tampa Bay Rays for Pat Burrell. There are some problems with this. Burrell plays left field and is a right-handed bat. So is the Cubs current left fielder, Alfonso Soriano. Burrell also is owed $9 million over one year, while Bradley is owed $21 million, and the Rays reportedly would want the Cubs to pick up a large portion of his salary.

Reports suggest that if the Cubs did make this trade, they would then have to deal Burrell, and the Post suggests a swap with the Mets for second baseman Luis Castillo.

Yes, the Cubs do want to move Bradley, and may be willing to eat some of his contract. But a Bradley-for-Burrell deal only makes sense financially.

– Carrie Muskat

11/20 Cubs & Blue Jays talk

The Cubs are one of the teams the Toronto Blue Jays have contacted regarding pitcher Roy Halladay. However, before Cubs fans start salivating at the prospect of the former Cy Young winner in the rotation with Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, and Ryan Dempster, there’s a catch. He’s owed $15.75 million in 2010, and the Blue Jays want some of the Cubs’ top prospects. No. 1, the team can’t take on Halladay’s salary. The Blue Jays apparently have a wish list and Milton Bradley is not on it. A player like highly regarded shortstop Starlin Castro most likely is, and the Cubs don’t want to part with him, especially since they might only have Halladay for one year. The right-hander was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA this season, and is a free agent after 2010. One thing the Blue Jays did make clear to the Cubs is they want to move Halladay this offseason.

– Carrie Muskat

11/20 Bradley rumors

Four to six teams have expressed interest in acquiring Milton Bradley, with the interest in varying degrees, depending on how much of the $21 million still owed the outfielder that the Cubs are willing to pick up.

However, top officials at both the Rangers and Cubs on Friday denied a Chicago Tribune report, which outlined a three-team swap that included the Mets. The proposed deal had Bradley going to the Rangers, who would ship Kevin Millwood to the Mets. The Cubs would get second baseman Luis Castillo from New York.

Yes, the Cubs would like to improve their second base situation. Millwood is owed $12 million in the last year of his deal, and the Mets need pitching. According to the Tribune, the Cubs would have to pay part of the $21 million remaining on Bradley’s contract.

But a top Cubs official said there was no truth to the rumor. A high-ranking Rangers official told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan such a deal is “not happening.”

There is legitimate interest in Bradley, even after his dropoff in ’09, his first year in Chicago. Teams have told GM Jim Hendry to keep them in the loop, and are waiting to see whether the Cubs will eat some of Bradley’s contract.

There have been reports that the Cubs would take Tampa Bay outfielder Pat Burrell in a deal for Bradley, but Burrell is owed $9 million in 2010 and the Rays reportedly want Chicago to pick up part of Bradley’s money as well.

– Carrie Muskat

11/11 GM meetings wrap up

The GM meetings ended Wednesday, and Milton Bradley is still with the Cubs. That should come as no surprise. GM Jim Hendry did not specifically address Bradley as he left the meetings at the Chicago O’Hare Hilton. According to news reports, he has spoken to a handful of teams about possible trades, and it’s unclear how many teams were asking about the outfielder.

The Cubs won’t be making a huge splash this offseason as far as free agent signings go.

“We don’t need mega-moves,” Hendry told reporters in Chicago.

He did say that the team could have a deal done in the next week or so with lefty reliever John Grabow. Hendry did not meet with Arn Tellem, who is Rich Harden’s agent, but the two have talked since the season ended. Harden has indicated he’d like to come back to Chicago, and Tellem told Chicago media it’s still early in the process.

– Carrie Muskat

11/3 Marmol to save 34 games in 2010

Milton Bradley will hit 18 homers and drive in 64 runs next season, Alfonso Soriano will belt 30 homers, and Carlos Marmol will total 34 saves. Those are the predictions in the just-released Bill James Handbook 2010.

“In any season, the vast majority of players play in a manner that seems a natural extension of what they had done before,” James says in his new book. “When that happens, our projection should be reasonably accurate.”

James says Derrek Lee will bat .291, hit 30 homers and drive in 98 for the Cubs; and Aramis Ramirez will hit .292 with 26 homers and 97 RBIs. James says Geovany Soto will hit 20 homers and drive in 79, and that Bradley will rebound and hit .276.

As for the Cubs pitchers, James projected Carlos Zambrano will go 12-8 with a 3.60 ERA and Ted Lilly will finish 11-8 with a 3.76 ERA.

James has Bradley listed with the Cubs in 2010, but the outfielder most likely will be doing that somewhere else.

* Akinori Iwamura is about to be traded, but not to the Cubs. The Rays reportedly dealt the second baseman to the Pirates on Tuesday for reliever Jesse Chavez. Some reports had the Cubs interested in Iwamura, who batted .290 for Tampa Bay.

– Carrie Muskat

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

 

10/21 Rudy on Milton Bradley

GM Jim Hendry says Rudy Jaramillo’s success with Milton Bradley in Texas had nothing to do with the Cubs’ decision to hire him as the Major League team’s hitting coach. Bradley led the American League in on-base percentage in 2008 and batted .321 under Jaramillo’s tutelage. Hendry had suspended Bradley at the end of the ’09 season for the final 15 games, and was talking to teams in an attempt to trade the outfielder and the $21 million still owed on his contract.

“We play the cards that we have,” Hendry said Wednesday at the news conference at Wrigley Field announcing Jaramillo as the Cubs new hitting coach. “Milton’s on the Cubs’ roster. That’s how we go about it until somebody’s not on the Cubs roster. [Jaramillo's relationship with Bradley] didn’t have any connection. We could’ve had 20 different guys on our roster and Rudy would still be sitting here today as our No. 1 guy.”

When asked about Bradley, Jaramillo had nothing but positive things to say.

“This young man has all the talent in the world,” Jaramillo said. “He worked hard. When he came in [to Texas], I knew my job was, ‘Hey, I have to win this kid over.’ It took me a while. He was a good student. He had an outstanding year for us. He still has a lot of baseball left. We got along great. I knew kind of what buttons to push. He started trusting me, and we started to get that rapport and things started to get better and better and he led the league in on-base percentage and slugging, so his ability is still there, there’s no doubt in my mind.”

Jaramillo did not talk to Bradley this past season, but did talk to Cubs manager Lou Piniella a couple times to try to help get the outfielder back on track. Would he like to work with Bradley again?

“That’s not my choice,” Jaramillo said. “I’ll work with anybody. I can get along with anyone. I don’t know what his status is or whatever. I have no problem [with Bradley].”

– Carrie Muskat

10/17 Jaramillo waits for interview

Rudy Jaramillo, whom the Cubs are expected to interview, has watched hitters for 30 years, and has come up with what he calls five simple steps to hitting.

“It’s not like I’m trying to re-invent the swing,” Jaramillo said Saturday in an interview.

His steps include: 1, finding a good rhythm; 2, timing a pitcher’s release point to best see the pitch; 3, separation of hands and footwork; 4, staying square and back; and 5, good weight shift. “Hitters have to learn how to combine all those five steps into one,” said Jaramillo, 59, who does not try to fit every hitter into the same mold.

Those steps are just one phase of the process. Jaramillo says the most important part of hitting is the mental part of the game. “I pride myself in teaching situational hitting,” he said, which is definitely something the Cubs could improve on. Chicago batted .241 with runners in scoring position; only Arizona was worse in the National League at .240.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan said he was bothered by the team’s lopsided walk-to-strikeout ratio, and that the hitters struck out too much.

“What was different,” Jaramillo said of the 2009 season in Texas, “was we had so many rookies and second-year guys. It’s not that they didn’t have the ability; they just didn’t have the experience.”

Jaramillo, who had been the Rangers hitting coach since 1995, says he could see improvement at the end of the season. “You just have to be patient,” he said.

He did talk to Cubs manager Lou Piniella this season about Milton Bradley, who was one of Jaramillo’s prize students in 2008. Bradley led the American League in on-base percentage that year and batted .321. The one thing the Cubs didn’t expect when they signed him to a three-year deal was for Bradley not to hit. The switch-hitter batted .257 overall, and .231 from the left side. Jaramillo said he didn’t see Bradley enough to explain the dropoff in his hitting.

Just because the Cubs are interested in Jaramillo becoming their hitting coach does not mean the team will keep Bradley. The outfielder was suspended for the final 15 games after detrimental conduct, and the Cubs were expected to try to trade him this offseason.

Jaramillo is under contract with the Rangers through Oct. 31 but the team granted the Cubs permission to talk to him, and he expected to meet with GM Jim Hendry this week.

– Carrie Muskat 

10/15 Cubs hitting coach update

Mark DeRosa loved him. DeRosa gave Rudy Jaramillo credit for making him a better hitter in 2006 when he batted .296 with the Rangers, hitting a then career-high 13 homers and driving in 74 runs. Jaramillo helped Milton Bradley in his one season in Texas when Bradley led the American League in on-base percentage, and batted .321 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs. Those are numbers the Cubs never saw.

On Wednesday, the Rangers announced they are bringing back all of their coaches except Jaramillo. Texas general manager Jon Daniels said: “Rudy Jaramillo has been a consummate professional and great asset to the Rangers, and we wish him luck in his future endeavors.”

The Cubs are looking for a hitting coach after deciding at the end of the season to retain all of Lou Piniella’s coaching staff except Von Joshua. Joshua had taken over in June for Gerald Perry, who was relieved of his duties. The Cubs have invited Joshua to return to their Minor League system.

Jaramillo is still under contract to the Rangers through Oct. 31, and then becomes a free agent. Cubs officials declined to comment on Jaramillo because it would be tampering, just like with a player under contract. But a team source did say they will likely to talk to Jaramillo, who was the Rangers hitting coach from 1994-2009. The only name GM Jim Hendry has mentioned for the job is Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator Dave Keller, and Keller had yet to be interviewed.

The Cubs have worked with Jaramillo already. This season, Piniella contacted him for help in getting Bradley on track. Bradley was not expected to return to the team after he was suspended for the final 15 games because of detrimental conduct. Just because the Cubs may be interested in Jaramillo doesn’t mean Bradley will return.

Besides DeRosa, Jaramillo helped develop Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Michael Young. Entering the 2009 season, Rangers hitters had won 17 Silver Slugger awards, four MVPs, three home run titles, and three RBI crowns under Jaramillo. He wanted a multi-year contract and the team only offered a one-year deal. Jaramillo said he was not “bitter” at what happened but decided to make a move.

“This is my decision,” Jaramillo told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “I want to go out there and see where I stand in the game.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/25 Bradley blog

Padres general manager Kevin Towers tells ESPN.com that he’s in the market for an outfielder. Maybe Milton Bradley?

“I’m not saying it’s necessarily Milton,” Towers said, mindful of Major League Baseball’s tampering rules. “But our experience with him was rather a positive one. It wasn’t really a negative one.”

Towers told ESPN.com he had not talked to Cubs GM Jim Hendry about Bradley, but did say, “We have to take chances sometimes. We took a chance on Milton the first time we had him, and he actually played pretty well [before the knee injury].”

Bradley tore his right ACL when he was being restrained by Padres manager Bud Black during an argument with umpire Mike Winters.

Bradley was suspended last Sunday by Cubs GM Jim Hendry for detrimental conduct, and will miss the final 15 games of the season. The Cubs will try to move the mercurial outfielder in the offseason.

In an interview with MLB.com in May, Black was asked about Bradley.

“Those of us who were around Milton the last two months of the ’07 season, he was great,” Black said. “He was great with me, great with the guys, and contributed greatly to our success down the stretch.”

Black said Bradley “played hard and with a lot of passion. Ultimately, he cared about winning that game.” The Padres manager acknowledged that Bradley is a perfectionist.

“You find that a lot of players at this level have a high degree of perfectionist and they want to do well so badly, and MIlton is one of those guys,” Black said. “He has high expectations.

“He’s emotional, which is not a bad thing,” Black said. “You wish more guys were emotional. That’s who he is.”

– Carrie Muskat

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