Blog Entry

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Posted on: January 5, 2009 5:45 pm

The Chicago Cubs have landed the left-handed bat they so badly wanted this winter, agreeing to terms with switch-hitting outfielder Milton Bradley on a three-year deal worth $30 million, has learned.

Bradley is due in Chicago this week for a physical examination as one of the final hurdles to finalizing the deal. The contract is expected to be formalized later this week, possibly as early as Thursday.

The move is significant for the Cubs in that a team that breezed through the NL Central and won 97 games last summer was exposed as being too right-handed at the plate during a bitterly disappointing first-round playoff loss to Los Angeles. Dodgers pitchers feasted on the Cubs' steady stream of right-handed hitters during the three-game sweep, holding Chicago to a .240 batting average and six total runs in the three games.

Bradley, whose re-emergence in Texas last season after a significant knee injury in San Diego in 2007, batted .321 with a .436 on-base percentage and a .563 slugging percentage for the Rangers last summer. His patience and selectivity at the plate are exactly what the free-swinging Cubs need.

However, Bradley, 31, also has a checkered injury history and in this, the first multi-year deal of his career, his challenge will be to stay on the field. Among the injuries that have sent Bradley to the disabled list over his seven-year career are knee, oblique, calf, shoulders and hamstrings.

In Texas last season, after serving as the Rangers designated hitter early while recovering from knee surgery last winter, he played only 165 innings in the field.

Nevertheless, by the winter meetings in Las Vegas last month, the Cubs, scouring the market for left-handed hitters, had identified Bradley as their No. 1 target. Hendry and manager Lou Piniella both have researched the volatile Bradley extensively, checking on both his injury history and several controversial incidents in which he's been involved.

Included in those are a very public feud with second baseman Jeff Kent in Los Angeles in 2005 that forced the Dodgers to trade him that winter, a bitter public disagreement with Oakland general manager Billy Beane in 2007 and the knee injury in San Diego late in the '07 season that came when manager Bud Black was attempting to keep Bradley from charging umpire Mike Winters.

Winters was subsequently suspended by major league baseball for provoking Bradley.

In the end, the Cubs decided that Bradley is a risk well worth taking. Aside from the incident with Kent, Bradley mostly has gotten along well with teammates throughout his career and been viewed positively in his clubhouses.

And to that extent, there are those with the Cubs who believe that maybe Bradley's fierce intensity will be beneficial for a clubhouse generally viewed as nice and docile.

The Cubs plan to play Bradley in right field and move Kosuke Fukudome to center. Their hope also is that Fukudome, who faded badly following a hot start last summer, will come back strong in 2008.

Specifically, the Cubs' strength and conditioning people have given Fukudome a workout regimen to follow while he trains in Japan this winter. The club thinks that a major-league season longer than the campaign in Japan caught up to Fukudome, who was in good shape entering 2008 but, in hindsight, maybe wasn't strong enough for the duration of a 162-game season.


Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2009 1:59 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem



(Come on- it's not that rediculous, he's only 45, and he is a left hand power hitting outfielder with an attitude that want to win,- so he gets hurt every now and then and has some issues that make the papers- so what)

Oh we're talking about Bradley- sorry!

In that case it makes sense.-Cubs just haven't gotten this "go buy players" thing down yet!

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2009 7:23 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Yes this is a great addition, to a ball club that is well on it's way to win some champion chips, but i would agree on some of the comments that the Cubs. During the LA series where not as patience at the plate.

Now that they have Bradley that brings back some more speed into the line up to and more defence to the outfeild. Cause you can't forget about Bradley's speed yes he has leftside power but if i remember right he was right up there in extra base hits too.

Only other thing i could see with the Cubs in finding a good middle relief and closer.


Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 8:03 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Well, I hate to point out the obvious but the past speaks volumes about what will happen in the future. Bradley does have emotional issues...either with teamates, fans, or coaches. This isn't news and it isn't anything other than fact. It's also a fact that Bradley doesn't stay healthy, and that's while playing DH some of the time. We can absolutely talk about this in May, but we can also speculate on it now.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:53 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

And THAT will be the downfall of Milton Bradley in a Cubs uniform. Bradley is a super sensitive head case and the majority of Cubs fans I know don't even want him in uniform. Wait until the boos rain down from the bleachers when he has a slump or when he's injured (again)and he starts complaining about it. This won just won't work.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:49 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

I agree this signing doesn't make too much sense. I don't understand why they think Milton Bradley will stay healthy for an entire season? Yes, his numbers look good...when he plays! Unfortunately, it's not often. Add his mental makeup and lets see what happens with the Wrigley faithful. Remember, these aren't the same fans anymore, they expect results (even if they don't get them).

Trading DeRosa only makes sense if they are planning on doing something else. If not, this team got drastically worse offensively (do we really think Miles can offer the kind of production DeRosa could when Milton Bradley ends up hurt and on the bench?) Oh, by the way Len and Bob, don't say anything bad about Bradley or else...he might come up and try to attack you.

Oh, and getting rid of Marquis is addition by subtraction.

Since: Jan 2, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 5:54 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

I agree on the comment about the cubs taking alot of walks last year.  Last year was the first time I can remember the cubs being so patient at the plate.  Aramis Ramirez, in particular, really stepped up and was patient at the plate which led to alot of quality at bats and RBIs from him.  If only Soriano and Lee remember how to take a walk and not chase the outside pitch.  I am stoked about the Bradley signing, I just hope this doesn't lead to less playing time for Reed Johnson.  He really earned some quality PT last season.

Since: Aug 31, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 5:33 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

It's funny, we get real close in 03 with a collective team, last year we dominate with a bunch of individuals. Pick your poison, I'm leaning towards the team that over achieved in in 03 and, if not for a couple of game changing blunders, we're the champs and fittingly when it does finally happen. Which it will sometime, hopefully in my lifetime, I'll be there to enjoy the spoils. Lou has this team going in the right direction but ultimately it comes down to the players and defense is about concentration and effort.

Good comment...

Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 4:24 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Yeah, I don't know why, but I've seen this more then once about the Cubs.  To go along with what you said in 2nd to the league in walks and OBP I'm almost positive they saw the most pitches per AB in the league.  Am I missing something?

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 4:19 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Milton Bradley?  As an indians fan i can tell you about Melt down Bradley.   He is a cancer in the clubhouse.  The guy has a lot of natural ability but the temperment of a 2 year old.  When he first got to cleveland he had star written all over him.  He was good in the field, could hit and run.  Then he started getting in trouble and arguements with the manager.  The Indians were forced to trade him for a player to be named later and a bag of peanuts.  Here is a guy who should be a regular on the All Stars.   For whatever reason the mans mind is whacked.  I wish i had his god given ability,  because i wouldn't be wasting it fighting with Jeff Kent. 

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 3:24 pm

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Where will he play in the field tho? RIght? And it will be very interesting to see how Lou deals with the definition of a hot-head.

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