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, CBSSports.com 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.

Comments

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:00 am
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Burrell, 32 yrs old, career .257. Bradley 30 yrs old, career .280 hitter. If anyone is overpaid, try Fukudome.



Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:05 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Righty- lefty, you do it during the season, you should do it during the playoffs

Lets look at the fact that in WRIGLEY, there were only 3 regulars with 20 Homers, Bradley could be an attitude, or a DL rider, or the Bradley we saw two years ago. If he makes the middle of the lineup more effective- fans will treat him like he was there for years- if he can't do that he might as well sit in the left field seats  upfront near the foul line.




Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:03 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Listen, are any of you ignorant bastards Nostra-friggin-damus?! I don't think so. How 'bout we wait to see how things play out and talk about this in maybe May, June, July, August, Sept., and/or Oct.??????!!!!!!!!!!!



Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:32 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

A lot of it is perceptions from the past, but you have to admit that the Cubs do still strike out alot. I think they were around 10th in the majors. Not horrible, but still a little free swinging.




Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:32 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

A lot of it is perceptions from the past, bou have to admit that the Cubs do still strike out alot. I think they were around 10th in the majors. Not horrible, but still a little free swinging.




Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:31 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

A lot of it is perceptions from the past, bou have to admit that the Cubs do still strike out alot. I think they were around 10th in the majors. Not horrible, but still a little free swinging.



Miami U
Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2009 10:05 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

In the words of Sir Charles, "turrible, turrible, turrible". Piniella and Bradley in the same dugout? Not good, and this is a marriage that is doomed. It doesn't make any difference what the oft injured Bradley does at the plate, it will not overcome the destruction that he will bring to the clubhouse. Bradley is a ticking time bomb. It's not a question of if but when he will explode. He is not Cub material, plain and simple. Trading a great clubhouse guy like DeRosa and replacing him with a militant player that struts around with a chip on his shoulder is insanity. In baseball, team chemistry is far more important than numbers. Turrible. Just turrible.


hurricane U
Since: Aug 16, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:26 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

Mike---Right on the money, I was thinking the exact same thing when I was reading the article. Free swinging??

Makes you wonder what the hiring process is like to be a Sportsline writer.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com