Milton Bradley

- Xavier Nady won't be ready to play regularly until...June!

The exclamation point is for a little joke going around the TCR comments, but Piniella said they'll be cautious with Nady through the cold weather.  Considering he was suppose to be a 4th outfielder/pinch-hitter/short side platoon for Fukudome, it probably won't matter as much as I'm sure the Internet is about to make it out to be, but it could affect the roster construction. Sam Fuld who can play all three outfield positions moreso than Tyler Colvin could get a little edge if spring training numbers are close. Or the Cubs could finally go through with an 11-man pitching staff, considering two of them will be the losers of the 4th/5th starting rotation race.

A chance to comment on some happenings from the past week....

- The Cubs signed Cuban defector Juan Yasser Serrano and while he may not be able to hit a curveball, he probably can throw one. At a $250K bonus (about 4th/5th round money), I don't think the expectations are going to be to high. An "insider" of Caribbean Baseball didn't give a flattering report back in April of last year:

This hasn't been confirmed yet, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is reporting that Carlos Silva will be traded to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. Earlier in the morning, "Monsters of the Midway" (I believe that's Mike North and Dan Jiggetts) said a trade of Bradley to the Mariners was going to happen as well. I also heard Larry Stone on XM radio on my drive in and he said the same thing and that the deal should be announced today or tomorrow.

Seattle always made sense as a possible destination for Bradley, low key media market, opportunity to DH, need some OBP help and they had a terrible contract they wanted to unload. The question was would they take on the Bradley headache and would Hendry be desperate enough to take on Carlos Silva. And apparently he is...

Silva is owed $11.5M in 2010 and $11.5M in 2011 with a 2012 mutual option of $12M with a $2M buyout...that's $25M total compared to $21M owed Bradley, so I would assume they would split the difference or at least get the Mariners to pay the buyout. According to Cot's, Bradley is owed $9M this year and $12M next season, which means if it's a straight up deal, the Cubs added $2.5M to their 2010 payroll. We don't know the full details yet though, so I'm hoping Hendry worked it somehow that it wouldn't further hamper the Cubs 2010 efforts.

There's nothing good to say about Carlos Silva. He's absolutely terrible. When the Mariners signed him two years ago, all of us stat nerds thought it was one of the dumbest things on the planet and that's exactly what it turned out to be. Silva - playing in the very pitcher friendly Safeco - has had ERA's of 6.46 and 8.60 his two seasons there. He did miss most of 2009 with shoulder issues, and althought he avoided surgery, he missed from early May to late September and then made just two bullpen appearances, giving up runs in both games. His career numbers are 60-64 with a 4.72 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP and a laughable 3.8 K/9 rate. He tops that off with a 11.0 H/9 rate (yes, more than a hit an inning and over 12 H/9 the last 2 years). If you thought Jason Marquis was a problem, wait till you see Carlos Silva.

I really don't see why the Cubs just didn't release Bradley rather than wasting roster space and time on Silva. I think the odds are close to 75% that they just end up releasing Carlos Silva in 2010. For the time being, if he isn't on the DL, I assume Silva will compete for a rotation spot in spring training and eventually be the most expensive bullpen arm of the Cubs.

UPDATE: Well everyone is confirming this is happening now...Muskat, Heyman, Tim Brown, Kapman...Merry Effin Christmas Cubs Fans.

UPDATE #2: The Cubs are getting $9M from the Mariners according to Sullivan, so they have that going from them. I would assume it's coming in installments over the next few years rather than one bulk sum in 2010, but we'll wait and see. If by some minor miracle it's all coming in 2010, then the Cubs would be paying just $2.5M for Silva in 2010 and Hendry just found himself $9M under the sofa cushions to throw at Marlon Byrd and Matt Capps or Kelvim Escobar. I'm not sure that's any better.

UPDATE #3: Cubs and Seattle Mariners trade history has been updated.

UPDATE #4: Hendry speaks and takes responsibility for the signing not working out. Cubs play at Seattle in the middle of June next season during my birthday...just in case you wanted to get something for your favorite Cubs blogger.

UPDATE #5: Bradley was apparently owed $22M, not $21M, so the Cubs are saving $6M as has been reported. $25M they owe Silva-$9M they're getting from Mariners = $16M. $22M - $16M = $6M in savings.

UPDATE #6: Cubs will get $3M each year over the next 3 seasons, net savings in 2010 will be $0.5M.

UPDATE #7: Wittenmyer says the Cubs are getting the $9M over two seasons with $5.5M coming for 2010.

- Muskat blogged that the Blue Jays contacted the Cubs about Roy Halladay.

...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.

A good time to show your committment to winning Ricketts family - we're all counting on you.

- Phil Rogers tried to sell a 3-way trade of Luis Castillo to the Cubs, Kevin Millwood to the Mets and Milton Bradley to the Rangers. It was quickly shot down though by the Cubs and Rangers.

- Carlos Marmol claimed the Cubs were pursuing Pedro Martinez, but the Cubs shot down that as well.

- John Grabow's deal is official, 2/7.5M. A report from Bruce Levine said it would go up by a million in the second year, so that makes it $3.25M in 2010 and $4.25M in 2011 if that ends up being the case. Also should note that Grabow's been dealing with bone chips as well for the last three years. I'm sure that won't bite the Cubs in the ass.

- Last day to enter the TCR Free Agent Frenzy contest, I'll shut it down sometime this weekend.

Let's try to filter through all the rumor reports from the GM meetings...

Milton Bradley

We know Hendry has talked to the Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Mets and Angels and really only the Rays and Rangers seem to be showing any real interest and both want the Cubs to pay a hefty portion of Bradley's remaining contract. The two most discussed names coming back were Pat Burrell or Kevin Millwood. For those that thought Aaron Rowand or Barry Zito's contract could get it done, Brian Sabean said he has absolutely no interest in acquiring Bradley.

Robothal's latest said the Rays and Cubs were talking again yesterday and were just $2-$3M apart, but then stirred up some quotes describing the discussions as "worse than Chinese water torture." and "I wish cattle prods were legal." And if the Cubs do get Burrell, they'll probably just have to pay some more to ship to another team as he'll unlikely be a Cub next year considering no one thinks he belongs in the outfield anymore.

One of our most trusted readers heard on the radio from Bruce Levine that a deal for Bradley should go down in the next 3-4 days.

I'm not sure I'll get an offseason potential target up tomorrow, but with the World Series almost wrapping up and the Cubs organizational meetings next week, the rumor mill is beginning to warm up for the offseason. Let's blast through these real quick.

My how the sports writers love to speculate. They don't start a rumor mind you, they get a few out of context quotes to make it seem like it's from a real "the trade's just about ready to be completed" source. We all know Captain Wrongway Phil Rogers loves to do this stuff in his Sunday 'mlb whispers' column. The newest wanna-be GM rumor comes from Paul Sullivan, the Cubs beat specialist from the currently bankrupt (can I count the ways) Chicago Tribune.

Pseudo GM, 'Paul Sully-My-Reputation' pulls out the two martini cocktail napkin and draws up trade possibilities for Milton Bradley this offseason. On a bigger picture level he categorizes two "how to unload Bradley scenerios". Then he paints a classic bad contract for bad contract, real dollar salary swap with the Giants that oddly makes some sense (accent on odd).

"I chose Chicago as a free agent," Bradley said in the statement,
"because I wanted to be part of finally bringing a championship to Cubs
fans. I expected to have a great season and I am deeply disappointed by
my performance and the team's struggles. I played every game with
everything that I had and wanted to desperately win.

"My frustration and disappointment boiled over and I said and did
certain things that I regret," he said. "In hindsight, I wish that I
had handled certain things differently and I apologize for those things
that did not work out for the better.

"The air has been cleared," he said, "and we all want to move on and look forward to better days."

The union will not file a grievance and Milton will be paid for the rest of the year, but not rejoining the team.

The Cubs have announced that Milton Bradley has been suspended for the rest of the season.

"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said.

"I'm certainly not going to let our great fans become excuses,"
Hendry said. "I'm not going to tolerate [Bradley] not being able to
answer questions from the media respectably."

Paul Sullivan and Gordon Wittenmyer could be seen congratulating each other after the announcement.

The Cubs and Nationals battled to a 2-2 tie through 6 innings, before Milton Bradley drove in his third run of the night on a fielder's choice to score Koyie Hill in the bottom of the 7th. Bradley had homered earlier in the game for the Cubs first two runs. The Cubs piled on in the 8th with five runs and ended up winning easily 9-4. 38 games left to bear unless we luck out with some rainouts.

Following up yesterday's comments, Bradley claims he has no regrets signing with the Cubs, but says he dreads extra inning home games:

"...so I can be out there the least amount of time as possible and go home."

Not quite as poetic as "I'd play this game for free", now is it?

He goes on to talk about facing hatred on a a daily basis including at restaurants, but sarcastically doesn't believe it has anything to do with race.

"America doesn't believe in racism."

That one made me chuckle.

Then he pulls a little Stuart Smalley on us.

``I feel love for me, because I love me,'' he said. ``I look in the
mirror and go out there and play and feel love for my teammates and
love for the coaching staff and for myself.''

That one made me laugh out loud.

I'll make this brief, but wanted a place to discuss the latest in "As Milton's World Turns". First though, the Cubs won, they hit a 2-run home run and a 3-run home run. It's nice to know those haven't gone extinct. Jake Fox and Geovany Soto did the damage and no truth to the rumor that Soto was promised White Castle if he hit one out today.

Randy Wells got his second win on the year, two solo shots being the only marks against him.  After 98 pitches and 7 innings, the increasingly baffling Lou went to Carlos Marmol and he predictably walked two of the first three hitters, gave up a couple of hits with some assistance from Soriano losing a ball in the sun (which I admittedly didn't see) and was mercifully pulled for Sean Marshall who got out of the jam by inducing the 3-2-3 double play by A.J. Pierzynski with the bases juiced.

Though we're in early June, the Cubs are still very much in the thick of the division race (mathematically, at least), and Milton Bradley's bone-headed play in right field didn't cost the Cubs a victory on Friday or even a single run, the symbolic potential of this play is truly awesome.

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