The Market for Milton Bradley

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 21, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Milton Bradley #21 of the Chicago Cubs hits the ball against the New York Mets on August 28, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Mets 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Oh, Milton. Here we go again. More drama.

And this time, it's serious. Bradley has been suspended for the remainder of the season a la Jose Guillen a few years back (minus the playoffs). Not good.

"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said. "I'm certainly not going to let our great fans become an excuse. I'm not going to tolerate not being able to answer questions from the media respectfully. Whether you feel like talking or not, it's part of all of our jobs.

"There's a right way to do it and a wrong way. I'm not going to allow disrespect to other people in that locker room and uniformed personnel, and I'm certainly not going to let a player, as was mentioned in the article today, (talk about) negativity of the organization."


It's become obvious that Bradley simply cannot return to the Cubs in 2010. Bradley has burned too many bridges within the organization. Change is needed for both sides. So as we look forward towards 2010, what exactly does the future hold for Bradley? Let's start by answering a few key questions.

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1. Is there any team out there that would pick up the $21 million that the Cubs still owe Bradley?

Believe it or not, this is possible. All the Cubs would have to do is take on a contract that is more egregious than Bradley's, which is not an easy thing to do. Unless the Cubs want to take on one of the worst contracts in baseball (i.e Carlos Silva, Oliver Perez), then the Cubs' best chance to trade Bradley is to accept the fact that they will have to eat some of his salary.


2. What team would be willing to acquire Milton Bradley and all the nonsense that comes with him?

Even though Bradley is crazy, I'm sure that some team would be willing to take a chance on him because when he's healthy and sane, Milton is a very productive outfielder.

With that said, Bradley's had terrible behavior and below average performance with the Cubs. I'm sure there aren't too many teams out there looking to pick up Bradley.


3. What team can give Bradley the "positive environment" he's looking for?

Obviously the Milton Bradley experiment in Chicago failed miserably. Chicago and Milton Bradley just did not mix.

So where does Milton Bradley think he needs to play in 2010?

"I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everyone is just bashing you. You go out there and play harder than anybody on the field and never get credit for it. It's just negativity."

So Bradley wants a healthy and enjoyable environment where there aren't too many people getting all up in his business. Wonderful. In my opinion, Bradley needs to go somewhere in a small market where the bright lights simply don't exist. as we saw in Chicago, a big city is not the ideal environment for a player such as Bradley.

Now let's get to the hard part, which "small market" team would actually take a chance on Milton Bradley?

-Padres? Nope. Been there and done that.

-Pirates? Nope. Do you think a young team looking to rebuild needs Milton Bradley around?

-Orioles: Doubtful. Even though Andy McPhail is looking for someone to hit behind Nick Markakis, I just don't think the O's have room for Bradley, unless they plan to have him DH. Any once again, do you think a young team looking to rebuild needs Milton Bradley around?

-Royals? Nope. Even though I wouldn't run it past Dayton Moore to make Bradley to KC possible, he's just not a fit here at all. I must say though, a locker room consisting of Milton Bradley, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Guillen would be highly entertaining and probably give Trey Hillman ulcers by the end of the season.

-Diamondbacks? Hmmmm, interesting. The Diamondbacks could use another big bat in their lineup and Eric Byrnes isn't exactly the world's most productive left fielder. I'd prefer to see the Diamondbacks stick with their youth movement instead of investing energy into acquiring Bradley, but the thought isn't that horrible.

-Mariners? I know, Seattle is not exactly a small market. But it's hard to ignore the fact that Milton Bradley would be a decent fit with the Mariners. I'm very fearful to see how Bradley would react in Seattle, but this could be a spot for him to succeed.

The Mariners could use Bradley in left field and when his various injuries act up, the Mariners could slot him in as the designated hitter. This team has struggled all year to find potent hitters in the middle of the lineup and maybe, just maybe, Bradley could give the Mariners what they are looking for.


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