Results tagged ‘ Pat Burrell ’

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

12/6 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

12/2 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