Milton Bradley Rumors
While we heard earlier today that the Giants are more focused on a long-term extension for Tim Lincecum than fellow starter Matt Cain, team president Larry Baer says the club is trying to lock up Matt Cain as well, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Heyman adds that the Giants may prefer deals of approximately four years.
Here are a few other items of interest from the National League West:
- The Padres are preparing for the Rule 5 draft with some minor moves. They've requested waivers on Alberto Gonzalez, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link), and will remove Jeremy Hermida from the roster later in the week, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter).
- Rusty Ryal signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks after having spent a year in Japan, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter).
- The Rockies met with Milton Bradley's agents today, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
MAY 16th: The Mariners released Bradley, tweets Ryan Divish of The News Tribune. He's now a free agent, to no one's surprise.
MAY 9th: The Mariners designated left fielder Milton Bradley for assignment and recalled outfielder Carlos Peguero, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns. In the likely event the Ms eventually release Bradley, they'll have to eat over $9MM in salary. Johns tweets GM Jack Zduriencik's explanation: "We felt Milton was not part of our future and not part of our present. Therefore, the move was made."
The Mariners shook up the roster a bit today, designating veterans Bradley and Ryan Langerhans to make room for youngsters Peguero and Mike Wilson. Bradley, 33, hit .209/.298/.351 in 393 plate appearances for the Mariners since he was acquired from the Cubs for Carlos Silva and $9MM in December of '09. Essentially the Mariners took on Bradley for two years and $5MM in that bad contract swap.
Bradley's time with Seattle was tumultuous, with a benching, multiple ejections, time on the restricted list for counseling, arthroscopic knee surgery, and an arrest for making a criminal threat.
Milton Bradley's tenure with the Mariners came to an unceremonious end last week when he was designated for assignment. "We felt Milton was not part of our future and not part of our present," said GM Jack Zduriencik. "Therefore, the move was made."
Bradley, 33, was hitting just .218/.313/.356 at the time of move, which actually raised his overall batting line with the Mariners to .209/.298/.351 in 393 plate appearances. He was in the final year of the three-year, $30MM contract he signed with the Cubs, and Seattle is still on the hook for his $12MM salary this season.
At least five executives doubt that Bradley will get another chance in the big leagues, citing his declining performance and behavioral issues. The Padres are unlikely to bring him back despite what might be the league's worst offense. Teams have shown that they're willing to put up with distractions as long as the player produces, which can't be said about Bradley right now.
The Padres have what is arguably the worst offense in the game, hitting .230/.306/.337 with the third fewest runs (127) and most strikeouts (307) in baseball. And that's after yesterday's 13-run, 23-hit outburst. Despite the struggles, GM Jed Hoyer told Darren Smith of XX1090 Sports Radio that he "[doesn't] think it's likely" they'll pursue the recently designated for assignment Milton Bradley. Gaslamp Ball provides a link to the mp3 as well as a roundup of the entire interview.
Hoyer indicated that Bradley has supporters in the Padres' clubhouse, including manager Bud Black. The outfielder spent part of the 2007 season in San Diego, hitting .313/.414/.590 with 11 homers in 42 games before a knee injury ended his year. Over the last two seasons though, Bradley has hit just .209/.298/.351 in 393 plate appearances with the Mariners. Yesterday we heard that at least one executive believes his career is over, though several others think he'll get another chance.
The trade that sent Vernon Wells from Toronto to Anaheim was the “Holy Grail” of deals for the Blue Jays and the best move of the winter, writes Jon Heyman of SI.com. Jose Bautista's five-year, $65MM contract places second on Heyman's list of teams' top offseason moves. As Heyman says, Bautista could have been in position to earn $100MM or more as a free agent after the season if the Blue Jays hadn't signed him long-term. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:
- Royals GM Dayton Moore is pleased with Jeff Francoeur's production so far and says the outfielder does a lot of things well, though he “doesn't have a knack for getting on base.” As I showed last week, the Royals are getting lots out of their free agent acquisitions so far in 2011.
- Can Milton Bradley find another job? Five MLB executives expressed at least strong doubt about Bradley's future job prospects in the Major Leagues. His fading offense and poor defense don't make up for the distractions he creates, which led one exec to predict that the outfielder's “career is over” now that Seattle designated him for assignment. Others expect Bradley to get one last chance.
- It's early, but Heyman suggests the White Sox, Tigers and A's look like possibilities for Carlos Beltran this summer. Beltran has a no-trade clause and is impressing scouts early on this season.
- The Red Sox and Blue Jays could be interested in catcher Jordan Weems, a high schooler who is moving up some draft boards.
- Heyman hears that it's “highly unlikely” that the Red Sox would be willing to meet the Mets' asking price for Jose Reyes this summer.
The Mariners designated Milton Bradley for assignment today, putting the future of the 33-year-old former All-Star in doubt. He's talented, but he's not hitting, as his .218/.313/.356 line shows. And though he says the right things at times, he causes trouble, as you might expect for a player who has been with eight organizations this decade. Here's the latest reaction to the move:
- "We felt Milton was not part of our future and not part of our present. Therefore, the move was made," GM Jack Zduriencik explained, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown suggests Bradley might finally get peace and quiet - but lose the opportunity to play Major League baseball.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times points out that for all of Bradley's shortcomings and frustrating behavior, he's human.
- Let's hear your reaction to the move in the comments section.
27-year-old outfielder Mike Wilson is off to a blazing start for the Tacoma Raniers, with a .381/.429/.683 line in 70 plate appearances. He'll be called up to the Mariners before Tuesday's game in Baltimore, reports Ryan Divish of The News Tribune. Since he's not on the 40-man roster, the Mariners will need to clear a spot.
Divish ran through players who could be removed from the 40-man, and came up with minor leaguers Edward Paredes and Yoervis Medina as well as Mariners Chris Ray, Milton Bradley, and Ryan Langerhans. It's time to end the Bradley experiment, writes Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner. In the opinion of Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, it will down to Ray or Langerhans.
Releasing Bradley would require eating the remainder of his contract. He has just under $9.5MM remaining on the deal he signed with the Cubs in January of '09. Bradley has a .209/.298/.351 line in 393 plate appearances for the Mariners since the beginning of the 2010 season.
Bradley was arrested earlier this month after allegedly threatening a woman in southern California -- the latest in a long line of off-field troubles -- leading some to wonder whether the M's would cut bait with the embattled outfielder/DH.
Bradley is entering the final year of a three-year contract he originally signed with the Cubs prior to the 2009 season. He was dealt to Seattle before last season.
As for whether the outcome of Bradley's court date could change the Mariners' decision to keep him, GM Jack Zduriencik declined comment, Stone writes.
Bradley, 33, played in just 73 games in 2010.
What a day for outfielders. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez went to the Rays, Vernon Wells went to the Angels, Vladimir Guerrero could be going to the Orioles and maybe the greatest outfielder of all time went to a New York City public school.
Some news items on a busy Friday in the majors...
- Yankee fans, be warned: SI's Tom Verducci looks at how Mark Teixeira could be headed for a decline.
- The Yankees could probably afford to sign Albert Pujols as a free agent next winter, but Mike Axisa of the River Avenue Blues blog points to Teixeira's presence and the albatross of Alex Rodriguez's giant contract as reasons why Pujols just doesn't fit in the Bronx.
- Geoff Baker and Larry Stone of the Seattle Times agree that a split between Milton Bradley and the Mariners would be beneficial to both the player and the team.
- Jed Hoyer and Bud Black predict the Padres' offense won't suffer much of a dropoff without Adrian Gonzalez, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock. "I think our offense has the potential to be as good as last year," Hoyer said. "We lost our clear best player [Gonzalez], but we have better balance. The positions we were weak last year, we're better at now."
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman profiles Julio Teheran, a 19-year-old right-hander and non-roster invitee to the Braves' Spring Training camp who has drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez.
- The Reds wanted to bring back Arthur Rhodes, but the Rangers' willingness to give Rhodes a vesting option for 2012 was an offer Cincinnati just couldn't match, says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon as part of a reader mailbag.
On this date in 2010, Bengie Molina signed a one-year deal with San Francisco. The Giants sent the backstop to their eventual World Series opponents once Buster Posey forced his way into an everyday role. Now, Molina is the lone noteworthy free agent catcher remaining and he's without an obvious suitor. Here's the latest from around the major leagues...
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told MLB.com's Greg Johns that he is aware that Milton Bradley was arrested and is monitoring the situation as he awaits more information.
- A baseball insider tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds can't afford a $20MM player. That could make it difficult for the club to retain Joey Votto and Jay Bruce when their current extensions expire.
- Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com hears that Odalis Perez is nearing a $300K deal with a Korean team (Twitter link). The 32-year-old left-hander last appeared in the majors for the 2008 Nationals, when he posted a 4.34 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 159 2/3 innings.
- The Yankees appear to be focused on Andruw Jones, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests it's too early to rule them out on another Scott Boras client, Johnny Damon (Twitter link).