When the Cubs initially signed Milton Bradley, it was like taking a girl home at the end of the night after consuming several gallons of beer; initially it seems like a good idea, but when the light of reality finally shines on the situation, things don't look all that pretty anymore.
Now the Chicago Cubs are in a difficult situation - with two years remaining on Bradley's contract and $21 million dollars. Could the Blue Jays possibly pick up the pieces from a broken Milton Bradley and benefit from this situation?
It's a long shot, but if the Blue Jays include the right players in a trade and the Cubs agree to certain contract terms, then both teams could benefit in a deal. I don't think there's anyway way in hell that a team would be willing to pay off one year of a player's contract when they're not even on the team, but for the Cubs that means they would only have to pay one year of Bradley's salary as opposed to two.
First off, keep in mind that this proposed trade is completely hypothetical. Obviously the Cubs want to get rid of Milton Bradley by any means necessary, aside from merely letting him go and eating the remaining $21 million dollars in his contract. Any situation where the Cubs wouldn't have to pay out that money would be beneficial for them. So here goes:
Chicago Cubs trade Milton Bradley for Scott Downs.
I know it seems like a completely lopsided deal, but let me explain. The Cubbies are looking for stability in their bullpen and could benefit from getting Scott Downs as a setup guy or lefty specialist. The Cubs get a great relief pitcher and they don't even have to pay out all of Bradley's contract.
The trade would be conditional on the fact that the Cubs would have to pay Bradley's 2010 salary, so the Blue Jays would only be on the hook for Bradley's 2011 salary which is $12 million (if he even makes it that long). The great part about Bradley's contract in 2012 are these options courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts:
2011 may become $12M club option with $2M buyout if:Bradley has not played more than 126 games in a season since 2004, and the Chicago Cubs noticed this and put those clauses into his contract when they signed him in the offseason. He's notorious for getting hurt and that contract option would work in the Blue Jays benefit when Bradley turns 33 in 2011.
Bradley has more than 75 days on DL in 2009, or
Bradley is on DL at end of 2009 season with specific injury and not on active roster by 4/15/2010
The problem with the Blue Jays trading for Milton Bradley is the baggage that comes with it. If the fans in Toronto enjoyed booing Vernon Wells then they would absolutely love to sink their teeth into Milton Bradley. He could wear out his welcome very quickly in a city that lets players know where they stand very loudly.
The other thing is that it seems like the Blue Jays have basically committed to making Adam Lind their full-time DH next year, which all but eliminates the need for Milton Bradley in the lineup. Although they would be better served having Lind in left field and having him hone his skills, it looks like the organization is leaning more towards having Lind take charge of the designated hitter spot.
Milton Bradley on the Blue Jays seems like a crazy idea, but sometimes you have to think outside the box and take a big risk to enjoy a big reward.
Note: I realize the similarities between this post and the Milton Bradley article posted earlier at Tao of Stieb. Make sure you read Tao's version too because it's much shorter and more concise anyway.