So the Milton Bradley era is over in Chicago. I can assume that the fans of the lovable losers are dancing in the snowy streets of Chicago's Northside. I think the Chicago Sun-Times sports website heading for the announcement of the trade says it best "Cubs unload Milton Bradley on Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva". (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
So I guess filling a need in LF is more important that the negative effect that Milton Bradley will bring to Seattle. And he will bring the negativity. Why would we believe otherwise. He's done it in all his previous stops. Even in Texas, where it was minimal (at least for Bradley) he was still a distraction. But in Bradley's case, his numbers often cloud the issue for those signing him.
For example, the Cubs could have resigned Jim Edmonds for a reasonable amount to play OF for the Cubbies. But instead, they chose to sign free agent Bradley to a 3-year 29 million dollar deal to raised eyebrows of Cubs fans. Whether the problems with Bradley and the Wrigley faithful were attributed to one side or the other at this point is irrelevant, Bradley's attitude and reputation once again rose to the forefront over his talent. Don't get me wrong, the man is talented.
In 10 seasons, Bradley is a career .277 switch-hitter with a career best 2007 (with the Rangers) where he posted a batting average of .328 with 22HR, 77RBI, 32 Doubles and an OBP% of .436 and a SLG% .563 for a total OPS of .999. For the Mariners, the numbers speak for themselves as Bradley fits a need in the lineup as well as in the field. As the article in the Seattle Times sports website states:
Zduriencik (Mariners GM) sees Bradley as a middle-of-the-order bat who will see time at both left field and DH. We've told you for some time the M's have looked for a righthanded bat to play in left field -- everyone from Mike Cameron, to Jason Bay to Johnny Damon, etc. -- and now, they've got a switch-hitter as their man at substantially lesser cost than any of those options. Bradley is a better right handed hitter, posting an .806 OPS vs. .764 as a lefty last season and a .993 vs. .863 the past three years (though the majority of his ABs came from the left side. In other words, he's capable of being an everyday player with good platoon splits.)
On the Chicago side, in return for Bradley, they receive right-handed sinkerball pitcher Carlos Silva. Silva is a career 60-64 with a career 4.72 ERA who has struggled since signing a four-year, $48 million deal with Seattle before the 2008 season. Silva has has $25 million left on his deal. Bradley has the same two years, at $22 million left on his contract. To round out the trade, Seattle includes $3 million in the trade up front with another $6 million to come over the next two seasons.
So the Mariners will bank that their "Positive Environment" will be the key to Bradley's temperament and production. Here's to hoping that maybe Bradley can change. I wouldn't bet on it. But in the game of baseball, who knows.