Milton Bradley: Still a Cub
Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry left the winter meetings in Indianapolis with Milton Bradley still on their roster. Hendry who made the monumental mistake of signing Bradley to a $30 million contract for three years last winter is now trying to unload Bradley after a disastrous 2009 season both on and off the field.
His biggest problem is finding a team that wants Bradley and is willing to pay a major portion of Bradley’s remaining salary It is imperative that the Cubs rid their roster of Bradley or there will almost certainly be an instant replay of his behavior during the 2009 season.
CBSSPORTS.com posted an article yesterday outlining some of the reasons that Bradley is hurting the Cubs even during the winter:
It has been reported that Bradley is not on the best of terms with his teammates. Manager Lou Piniella has publicly stated that he has no problem with Bradley but it is easy to see past the rhetoric and know Piniella would be deliriously happy to know that Bradley will not be returning to Wrigley Field in 2010.
How can the Cubs bring back Bradley after suspending him at the end of last season for dissing the Cubs for not winning a World Series in over 100 years and their fans for booing him when he deserved to be booed?
This statement sums up the negative attitude of Bradley:
Last month, he talked of not being “comfortable” because of the “adversity and hatred” he said he faces.
Asked to clarify those comments the next day, he said: “All I’m saying is I just pray the game is nine innings so I can be out there the least amount of time as possible and go home.”
This tells me all I need to know about Bradley and the complete article from the Daily Herald illustrates in depth why Bradley does not need to wear a Cubs uniform in 2010:
General manager Hendry and the executive management of the Cubs may have to decide if they will pay more of Bradley’s remaining salary to rid the team of Bradley who couldn’t deliver on the field or in the clubhouse in 2009.
Is it even possible to place a dollar value on the damage Bradley did to the Cubs on the field and off the field in 2009? What was Hendry thinking to sign Bradley in the first place? What were his thought processes before signing Bradley?
Bradley had done nothing in his career to merit a $30 million contract. Knowing his behavior history Hendry should have signed him to a one year contract if he was intent on signing him. If Bradley refused a one year contract tell him to “Hit the road Milt” and sign a player like Bobby Abreu or Raul Ibanez who both had excellent seasons.
While the Cubs were paying Bradley $9 million in 2009 with $21 million remaining on his contract the Angels signed Abreu for only $5 million for one year.
If the general managers of the other 29 clubs are smarter than Hendry they won’t acquire Bradley. Because of his own blunder of signing Bradley the Cubs general manager will be trying to talk other general managers into making the same mistake he made.
Bradley still may not be with the Cubs on opening day of the 2010 season but if he isn’t the Cubs may have to reach deeper into the pockets of the Ricketts family to pay off Bradley’s contract with a huge portion of his remaining salary in a trade or releasing him. A release would pay Bradley $21 million for not playing.
Hendry would like to save face and get a team to pay a major portion of Bradley’s salary but he may have to admit his mistake and give Bradley his walking papers along with $21 million.