The Chicago Cubs’ recent moves have cleared the way for what could arguably be called a “significant” signing to the Cubs’ current roster. Media outlets reported Monday that the Cubs had reached an agreement on a three-year, $30 Million contract with free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley.
Now, this is significant in many ways, it gives Lou Piniella and the Cubs’ coaching staff what they’ve been wishing for since before the 97-win season and the abrupt ending in the playoffs to the Los Angeles Dodgers began, a sure-fire left-handed outfielder that can get on base and play defense.
This move is important in many more ways than that though, there will undoubtedly be the ever-rising questions of Milton Bradley’s attitude toward coaches, players, and umpires, the questions of his character and ability to fit into a locker room, questions of his health status, will he play 100 games?
All of these are perfectly legit and reasonable questions to be stated on this signing. Here are the answers and why this is a perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs in hopes of winning the World Series for the first time in 101 years now.
This signing of Milton Bradley is an exceptional move by GM Jim Hendry. He needed to put more pieces in place this year after a second consecutive early exit from the postseason.
Sure, the Cubs won 97 games and had the best record in the National League, and sure they were the early favorites to win the World Series and end the drought but you have to remember one thing: These are the Cubs.
They needed more than the heart-felt encouragement of winning it all since 1908; they needed what they’ve been lacking for years and are somewhat getting from their fiery manager Lou Piniella, they needed an all-out, no holds-barred winning mentality.
The last two seasons the Cubs have just simply walked away from the playoffs with the mindset of “Well, there’s always next year” and to be honest, the Cubs’ fans expect much more out of this team.
It’s the reason why Piniella was brought in, it’s the reason why they spent loads of money bringing in Soriano and locking up their core players in Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs need more and now they have it.
This move to bring in Bradley does so much more than add a left-handed bat which they thought they had in the much disappointing Kosuke Fukodome, it adds the zeal and the intensity of a winning mindset and adds the personality of someone that will do whatever it takes to win.
Bradley brings a fire to the Cubs that will not be ok with walking away from the playoffs empty-handed. Bradley is one that is not ok with not going all out on every play and that fire is contagious among championship teams.
This is a great signing by the Chicago Cubs because they finally have the defense and the bat in right, they can move Fukodome to center and platoon him with Reed Johnson and they have Alfonso Soriano in left.
Now, match that with the signing of another versatile infielder in Aaron Miles (Mark DeRosa reincarnated) the return of Lee and Ramirez at the corners and the All-Star Soto behind the plate and this signing makes all the sense in the world for the Cubs to finally, and I do mean finally end the 101-year drought.
The Cubs need Bradley for his zeal, his talent, and his work ethic, matched with Sweet Lou’s ability to handle players and the most important piece, their excellent rotation (with or without Peavy) and they have a pretty "Sweet" setup for another crown in the N.L Central and finally a move past the first round of the playoffs on their way to a Championship.