The Cubs and Mariners swapped bad contracts today, with outfielder Milton Bradley heading to Seattle and pitcher Carlos Silva to Chicago. SI's Jon Heyman first reported the reignited trade talks, and then Larry Stone of the Seattle Times broke news of the agreement. According to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan, the Mariners also sent $9MM to the Cubs.
Bradley is owed $21MM over the next two seasons, while Silva will earn $25MM. The Cubs net $5MM overall. Silva missed most of the season with a shoulder injury; he hasn't had big league success since the '07 contract year. His ability to contribute anything in the next two seasons is highly questionable. Bradley we know can hit; he had a .378 OBP for the Cubs even in a down year. The Mariners are the clear winners here, noting the big caveat that they must keep Bradley from becoming a distraction.
The Cubs are now out $8.5MM a year for Silva due to GM Jim Hendry's Bradley folly. It was said Bradley badly wanted to come to Chicago, but Hendry paid full price at three years and $30MM. Bradley was signed in part to bring fire to the Cubs' clubhouse, but a year later they were desperate to unload him. Talking to Sullivan, Hendry took responsibility, but added "no one could have really predicted how it turned out."
Hendry now has to add an outfielder to replace Bradley. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that Scott Podsednik could be the Cubs' choice, though the Royals and Giants are also interested. The Cubs were tied up with the Bradley situation and unable to move on the top free agent center field option, Mike Cameron.
This post has been rewritten by Tim Dierkes.