Will Carroll over at Baseball Prospectus has confirmed the Cubs’ interest in center fielder Milton Bradley, and adds a few interesting tidbits.
According to Carroll, Bradley "figures to be a Dodger non-tender and is someone who doesn’t scare Dusty Baker."
I’ve heard whispers of L.A. non-tendering Bradley before, and I find it downright baffling. To throw away a world of potential just to do things "The Dodger Way" seems like a terrible business decision. Whether or not Bradley is a guy you want to have a beer with, his talent is undeniable.
Consider: Bradley posted a 3.8 WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) in just 283 at-bats in 2005. Prorated for 600 at-bats, Bradley’s WARP would rank him second among all center fielders, behind only Jim Edmonds. Bradley excels in all aspects of the game except for two: staying healthy and pleasing the media. The continual injuries are why it’s not fair for me to prorate his WARP over 600 ABs and say he’s better than Andruw Jones. But if the potential is there, why not pay $3-4MM to find out what he can really do? Bradley is only 27.
The idea that Bradley could be a Cub for absolutely nothing should make Cubs fans salivate. However, it’s been pointed out that Dusty Baker never seemed in full control of Sammy Sosa or Kent Mercker, so it remains to be seen if he can get a handle on Bradley.
Another good point that’s come up in the comments on this site is that the Cubs will have to cut or trade someone from the 40 man roster once the Bobby Howry signing is made official. Some suggest Adam Greenberg, Jose Macias, or Brian Dopirak could be cut, but it’s more likely that a trade is imminent.