Chad Bradford Rumors

Chad Bradford Leaning Toward Retirement

Sidearmer Chad Bradford is leaning toward retirement, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times learned.  Bradford told Topkin he'll still leave the door open for next year, and probably decide in January.  The 35-year-old had elbow surgery in February and back tightness in July, resulting in only 10.3 big league innings this year.  Bradford is finishing up a three-year, $10.5MM deal signed with Baltimore before the '06 season.  He joined the Rays via a waiver claim last August.

If he's done, Bradford would finish with a 3.26 ERA over 515.6 career innings.  He pitched in the playoffs seven different years, allowing just one earned run in 23.3 innings.  He'll have earned just under $15MM for his efforts, according to Baseball Reference.  Of course, Bradford is best known for being chronicled in Michael Lewis' 2003 book Moneyball.

Rays, Red Sox Talking Blockbusters With Tribe

4:33pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hear that the Rays may be shying away from a blockbuster deal. They're 5.0 games behind Boston in the Wild Card race, so their next two games against the Yankees could determine the team's direction.

If the Rays are discouraged after the Yankees series, they could make Dan Wheeler, Chad Bradford, Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson and Lance Cormier available, according to the FOX Sports source.

12:59pm: The Rays have shopped Scott Kazmir to the Mets and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman. The Rangers turned down an offer from the Rays and the Mets just had initial interest. The Rays would consider dealing Kazmir, Carlos Pena and even Carl Crawford to free up enough salary to make a blockbuster deal for Martinez and Lee.

The Rays still have interest in Halladay.

TUESDAY, 11:16am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has more dish on the idea of a team acquiring both Lee and V-Mart in a blockbuster trade.  The idea has been considered in Cleveland but is considered very unlikely due to the magnitude of prospects required.  While the Red Sox could technically pull it off, the Rays wouldn't have the payroll space.

MONDAY, 4:35pm: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears the Rays are still "in on" V-Mart and Lee. There's still a chance that they'll trade Scott Kazmir to the Angels, too.

1:35pm: The Rays and Red Sox are each discussing blockbuster deals with the Indians for both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinezaccording to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Here are the details and the rest of Sherman's rumors:

  • The Rays would deal Wade Davis, but the Red Sox are hesitant to deal Clay Buchholz.
  • The Phillies, Brewers and Rangers have interest in Lee and the Giants have interest in V-Mart.  
  • One executive is "1,000%" confident the Indians will move Lee and Martinez to free up money.
  • An AL executive says the Phillies will acquire Lee, Roy Halladay or Jarrod Washburn by Friday afternoon.
  • The Padres may be more willing to deal Heath Bell than expected. As one official says, Bell will be an expensive closer on a bad team if the Padres don't trade him.   
  • The Yankees have been interested in Bell, whose value is higher than ever. 

Mariners Make Putz Available

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mariners have made closer J.J. Putz available.  The Mets will talk with the Ms about him at next week’s Meetings, but the Indians and other clubs will likely get involved.  It sounds like the Mets would be happy to acquire Putz rather than give four years to Francisco Rodriguez/Brian Fuentes or three to Kerry Wood.  Matthew Cerrone has more on the Mets’ bullpen plans here.

Putz, 32 in February, posted a 3.88 ERA in 46.1 innings this year.  He struggled with his control, and hits dropped it at an inordinate rate.  His average fastball velocity remained around 95 mph despite ribcage and elbow injuries.  He’s set to earn just $5MM in ’09 with an $8.6MM club option for ’10.  Putz could be a great pickup, as he was flat-out dominant from 2006-07.

Sherman adds that the Rays offered Chad Bradford to the Mets, hoping to move his $3.5MM salary.  His salary doesn’t suit the Mets either, though.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Sabathia, Yankees, Pirates, Rays

Let’s take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…

  • MetsBlog feels the reported interest in C.C. Sabathia is overblown. Rather, they see the Mets waiting for Sabathia to sign before making a move of their own for starting pitching.
  • River Ave. Blues still sees the Yankees pursuing Mark Teixeira or Adam Dunn, even with the acquisition of Nick Swisher.
  • Where have you gone, Andy Van Slyke speculates on what the Pirates will do this winter while finding humor in this recent quote from the Buccos’ GM: "we’d love to upgrade the offense, upgrade our pitching, and rebuild the bench."
  • MVN Outsider takes the role of Andrew Friedman in their "Being the GM" series and proposes three moves for the Rays including trading Andy Sonnanstine and Chad Bradford for Andre Ethier.
  • With the Rays likely to trade pitching this winter, Rays Prospects takes a closer look at how the starting pitchers throughout the organization performed in 2008. Sonnanstine was clearly a better pitcher than Edwin Jackson.
  • Pinstripes Published has started a series looking at some of the cheaper alternatives that can be found in the free agent market. First up, starting pitchers.
  • Ump Bump is taking a look at what each team needs this offseason. They have already gone through eight teams including the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Phillies.

Cork Gaines writes for and can be reached here.

Rays Designate Reyes

Last night, veteran Al Reyes was DFA’d by the Tampa Bay Rays to make room for Chad Bradford. Reyes is 38 and has a 4.37 ERA (actually a touch better than last year’s mark of 4.90). He’s had two stints on the DL this year, and has had a 5.14 ERA in 8 games since last being activated. Reyes said he needs to get the ball more than "every four or five days" to stay consistent, but also said he wasn’t surprised by the move. He’s making 2.3MM this year.

The Rays have 10 days to make a move. I’m on the fence here; on the one hand, Reyes is 38 and has shoulder problems and a terrible ERA for a reliever. On the other, he had 26 saves last year, and with the way that saves are currently valued in baseball, I feel like some team is bound to roll the dice with him.

Odds and Ends: Manny, McDonald, Bradford, Bowden

Collection o’ links…

Rays Acquire Chad Bradford

According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, the Rays won a waiver claim on reliever Chad Bradford.  They’ll send a player to be named later to the Orioles for him.  The Rays strengthened an already excellent bullpen.

Bradford, 34 next month, has a 2.45 ERA in 40.1 innings this year.  His strikeout rate is dangerously low, but he’s not walking anyone or allowing home runs.  He also has a very strong groundball rate.

Bradford has $1.05MM left on his contract this year plus $3.5MM in ’09.  Aside from the Angels, all the other American League teams passed on the chance to claim Bradford.

More From Stark: Mets, Dodgers, Indians

Jayson Stark brings us a few more tidbits from the Hot Stove…

  • The price for Raul Ibanez may be too high for the Mets as Stark reiterates what we heard previously, that Fernando Martinez and Jon Niese are not available…Ken Rosenthal added Robert Parnell to that list of untouchables.
  • The Mets may no longer be in the running for Brian Fuentes as they are not willing to part with Aaron Heilman.
  • Stark says other relief pitchers the Mets have shown some interest in include Cla Meredith, Chad Bradford and Jeremy Affeldt.
  • The Dodgers are said to be interested in several relief pitchers, including Fuentes, George Sherrill, David Weathers and Alan Embree, but they are not interested in Huston Street. The other possibility is Greg Maddux, who would allow the Dodgers to move another starter to the bullpen.
  • The Indians’ primary goal now is to deal Paul Byrd.

Cork Gaines writes for and can be reached here.

Will Carroll’s Latest: Blake, Mike Gonzalez, Fuentes

Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll checks in with a slew of rumors.

  • Carroll believes Orioles relievers Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford would clear waivers.  Bradford isn’t striking anyone out, but he does have a 2.45 ERA by virtue of good control and tons of grounders.  He has a reasonable $3.5MM commitment for ’09.
  • Casey Blake suitors: Mets, Rays, and Twins.
  • Carroll wonders if the Rangers could send an outfielder to Atlanta for closer Mike’s T.R. Sullivan also linked the Rangers to Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is under team control through ’09; I’d be surprised to see him traded.
  • The Marlins are "very aggressively" pursuing Rockies closer Brian Fuentes.

Healey’s Latest: Wilkerson, Marte

Gotham Baseball’s Mark Healey has a new post up with some good trade rumors:

  • The Mets are talking to the Rangers about Brad Wilkerson, not Eric Gagne.  This makes sense, as Wilkerson has hit lefties well this year and can play right field.
  • The Mets are also talking to the Reds; could’ve been about Ken Griffey Jr. or David Weathers.  From what we’ve heard, though, Weathers is not available.  And would Junior approve a trade to the Mets?  He vetoed a trade there once before.
  • The Pirates want Alan Horne from the Yankees for Damaso Marte.  Given that Brian Cashman didn’t seem to want to give him up for Gagne, I don’t see this happening.
  • The Orioles are shopping Chad Bradford, but the Yankees aren’t allowed in the store.