8:20pm: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that the Rays haven't backed off on a possible Milton Bradley deal, even though talks with the Mets involving Pat Burrell are now dead. Money is currently the biggest obstacle between the two clubs and a deal. Two or three new teams have apparently expressed interest in Bradley since the meetings began this morning.
7:51pm: Royals GM Dayton Moore tells MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that the Bradley-Meche rumors are "unbelievable." However, no player on the Royals is untradeable, though Zack Greinke and Billy Butler are among the Royals who are almost certainly staying put.
1:06pm: The Cubs shot down Levine's report of meeting with the Royals about Bradley, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
12:44pm: Danny Knobler of CBS Sports says two new teams approached the Cubs about Bradley, aside from the Rays and Rangers. Perhaps the Royals, mentioned below, are one.
11:46am: ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine says the Cubs and Royals met last night to discuss Bradley-Gil Meche scenarios. The money matches up pretty well here, as both players are signed through 2011. And don't forget the Cubs tried to sign Meche as part of the 2006-07 offseason spending spree. On the flip side, the Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton tweets that the Royals would have to be "overwhelmed" to trade Meche. Bradley could technically be described as overwhelming, but not in the way the Royals meant.
11:00am: The Cubs are dead-set on trading Milton Bradley, and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has the latest.
Sullivan says the Cubs are letting Bradley's agents, the Levinson brothers, talk to other teams in an attempt to repair Bradley's reputation. Sullivan adds that the Cubs are focused on the Rays moreso than the Rangers.
As you might expect, it's all about money: the Rays would want the Cubs covering most of the $15MM difference (Cot's has the difference at $12.2MM) between Bradley and Pat Burrell's contracts. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times sees Bradley's commitment as $24MM due to incentives, but most of those are awards bonuses. We've heard Rosenthal calling the Rays frontrunners for Bradley, but Joel Sherman said a few hours ago that the Rays were "growing less hopeful of swapping Burrell to the Cubs."
The Rangers want the Cubs assuming most of the remaining money owed to Bradley. What's more, Sullivan found one potential Rangers bidder who would want no part of Bradley if he gets the team.