Results tagged ‘ Tampa Bay ’
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
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
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
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
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
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
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