A League of Her Own

It's 6:39 am. . . Milton Bradley is still a Cub

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What's that? You're sick of hearing about Milton Bradley?

Well so am I, but it's the lot we've been cast in life.

Read and discuss.

I have to go say something stupid on the radio.

Paul Sullivan:

The Rays, their most likely trading partner, refuse to budge, hoping to force the Cubs to pay the bulk of Bradley's $13 million salary in 2010.

And when the Rays acquired closer Rafael Soriano and his $7.25 million salary Friday from the Braves, executive vice president Andrew Friedman suggested they were done spending.

"Our focus is on continuing to try to make this 2010 team better," he told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's going to take a little bit more creativity, but our focus is still on doing that. But I think there's definitely a chance that, for the most part, this is the team that we go into April with."

Bruce Miles with some Cubs odds and ends:

Speaking of our friends on the North Side, they made official what I reported yesterday, that they've acquired former Sox minor-league pitcher Arismendy Mota from the Nationals for cash considerations. The Nats took Mota from the Sox with the first pick of the Triple-A Rule 5 draft yesterday morning.

Tomorrow is the date by which clubs must decide whether to tender contracts to the players under their control. I expect the Cubs to do so with everyone but Neal Cotts. The Cubs will non-tender him but ask him back on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training as Cotts rehabs from elbow surgery.

Those players with between three and five years of big-league service time who get tendered deals are eligible for salary arbitration, as is "Super 2s" Mike Fontenot and Tom Gorzelanny.

Carlos Marmol and Ryan Theriot are the Cubs biggest potential arb cases. Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Jeff Baker and Angel Guzman are the other arb guys. That's a lot for one off-season, isn't it?

 

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59 Comments

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Our long national nightmare is not over yet.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Break a leg, Julie! I'll be at work, so I'll have to listen to the podcast.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Break a leg, Julie! I'll be at work, so I'll have to listen to the podcast.

Doc said:

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Good luck Julie.

And as far as Milton, he won't be traded until after the Cubs convention. And by that time no decent center fielder will be left to sign. We're screwed no matter what.

J Pep said:

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You will do great. Just remember to give Milton lots of love because I can still see him in right this summer. I hope Milton will be listening and you can explain that booing is nothing new. Fans even booed Mickey Mantle in his later years.

Max Power said:

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Waiting for Julie to go on.....

Maim said:

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I can't wait until this Chia commercial is over!

Umbra said:

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You think Adam Dunn would have been a better signing?

Dunn: 1.2 WAR.
Bradley: 1.0 WAR.

As for the contracts, Dunn is 2 years 20 million. Bradley is 3 years 30 million. So...whaaaa?

Umbra said:

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But otherwise awesome show good job!

Aisle424 said:

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Dunn wouldn't have been such a lightening rod and would have been easier to trade (if they felt it necessary) because he would have only 1 year and $10 million left instead of 2 and $21M.

Hindsight is 20/20, but my assertion has always been that with Dunn you KNEW what you were getting. You would get a guy who hits 40 HRs, drives in 100, has a .450ish OBP, strikesout 150+ times and is an absolute statue in the field. That is what you get from Dunn year in and year out.

With Bradley, you know you are going to have injury problems and personality issues. His actual onfield production is nowhere close to being predictable. Which is why I wouldn't have signed him last year, but why I would absolutely not trade him for the piles of garbage that we would get in return now. He is just as likely to rebound this year as he is to tank again. We know that Luis Castillo, Pat Burrell, etc. etc. are terrible players and that money is spent. Might as well try to get something out of it.

millertime said:

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I agree, Dunn would be easier to trade. It's one reason I think the Cubs should keep Bradley for this upcoming season. If things don't work out after this coming year, Bradley will only have 1 year left on his contract. His trade value has almost nowhere to go but up after this next season.

I like Dunn, but the Cubs would not have had a place to put him. Remember when Dunn played RF for the WBC, and everyone freaked out about how bad Americans are at baseball and how we don't care about defense, only about hitting monster home runs? I don't think Dunn would have fit in here any better. Dunn is often characterized as a guy who doesn't seem to care that much about anything. A bad clubhouse leader.

JulieDiCaro said:

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As opposed to Milton Bradley being characterized as a great, selfless guy who gets along with everyone.

Who cares how bad Dunn is at defense? He'd hit a million HRs to make up for it.

millertime said:

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All I'm saying is that if the Cubs had signed Dunn, and had the same type of season they had this past year, Dunn would have been considered a horrible signing. Dunn isn't as negative as Bradley, but people would still be upset with his lack of emotion. And his amazing amount of strikeouts and bad defense.

Unless Dunn is somehow better at preventing his teammates from being injured, the Cubs wouldn't have been that much better off without him. We'd have the same team that only finished 2nd in the division, except with less headaches about team chemistry, and more headaches about strike outs and bad defense.

Umbra said:

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I agree with you that Adam Dunn's offensive numbers are more predictable and reliable than Milton Bradley's. Adam Dunn is a hitting machine, and Milton's injury history makes him spotty.

But, as is always the case with Adam Dunn, you have to talk about his defense. It has ranged from average to unbelievably bad. So bad that it threatens to destroy the spreadsheets that attempt to quantify it. I think the volatility involved in his defense is so great that you lose any advantage you had in predicting his offensive numbers.

As a back-of-the-envelope calculation, the standard deviation of Adam Dunn's WAR is 1.5. For Bradley, it's 1.3. That's not gospel, and there's a lot of problems with the calculation, but my point is: Adam Dunn is so unpredictably bad at defense that it becomes a wash.

It's incredibly puzzling to me that Dunn isn't a DH. I know he plays in the worse league, but you can't tell me there isn't an AL team that wouldn't want him more than what they have right now.

AndCounting said:

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But, as is always the case with Adam Dunn, you have to talk about his defense. It has ranged from average to unbelievably bad. So bad that it threatens to destroy the spreadsheets that attempt to quantify it.

I want to get this written up in needlepoint and framed at my house. Not because I hate Dunn or anything, it just really makes me laugh. Adam Dunn broke UZR.

JulieDiCaro said:

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There was a great article the other day about how WAR is the most misused stat in baseball, because it doesn't actually translate into actual wins on the field.

I wish I could remember where I read it.

Umbra said:

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This is kinda true. The correlation between WAR and team wins this year was .4229. Not great. But when the correlation between runs scored and wins is .3737 and runs allowed and wins is .4341, it starts to look better.

millertime said:

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Fun Milton Bradley Contract Facts:

1. In 2011, He's only being paid $12 mil, not $13 mil. Not a big deal, but it's an easy fact to get right.

2. A "perk" in Bradley's contract is that he gets a suite for road games.

3. last season he was paid a base salary of $5 million. He had a bonus of $4 million, so if you prorate that out, his salary can be considered $6.3 million last year. His fangraphs value over replacement was $4.7 million. His season with the Rangers, he was worth $20 million. There's a good chance that if he rebounds next year, we'll be underpaying him. He's estimated to be worth $13 million next season. But I don't know how they get those numbers, and it's all speculation anyways. I don't think you can put a price on team chemistry.

Also, did you know that:

1. Soriano has the perk of suite on road trips, 6 premium tickets for each home game (spring training - post-season) and All Star Game (if Soriano is selected)? Also in his contract, he has to donate 25,000 anually to both United Way and Cubs Care.

2. For Fukudome, perks: 8 first-class round-trip air tickets between Japan and Chicago for family each year, personal trainer, masseuse, interpreter, visa expenses, $25,000 annually in moving expenses, vehicle during spring training and regular season, plus
Fukudome has to make annual donation to club charity.

AndCounting said:

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Where did you get all this info? I've never seen any of these contracts broken out into all that detail. Cool.

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Prorating only applies if you're dealing with a salary cap situation. Bradley got $9 million last year so that's what his salary was. It's not like the Cubs can get another team to reimburse them for his bonus.

If the Cubs trade him and have to pick up even $10 million of the remaining dollars then you could argue the Cubs gave him a 1-year, $19 million deal.

Bottom line is you've got to drop this notion that Bradley was a good player last year. It's rather insane.

millertime said:

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I'll drop my notion that Bradley was a good player last year when you drop your notion that Bradley was a terrible player last year.

I'm not even trying to say that he was a good player. I'm saying that he had a season that was about average last year. And that normally, for his career he has been well above average. So odds are, he should be an above average player next year.

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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I've never said Bradley was a terrible player last year. He did, however, have a terrible season. He was very bad during the period when Ramirez was out, and he produced when the Cubs were basically out of it.

It's impossible to really figure out how much his being a dick affected the team, but it had to have some impact.

And answer me this: If Bradley is such an above-average player, why has he played for seven teams in 10 seasons?

Why has he averaged 540 plate appearances per franchise before he's been dumped? (Cubs included)

Why have none of these teams said, "Gee, we just gotta keep this above-average player around?"

Because he's got a good bat, teams keep taking a chance on him. But because his negatives far outweigh his positives, they let him go.

Damn, I didn't think it was possible to be more certain that Hendry was insane to give Bradley a 3-year deal but I just convinced myself. Well done, me. Well done.

AndCounting said:

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Milton Bradley's best stretch of production began right around the time the Cubs claimed first place ahead of the Cardinals. That's when Bradley turned it on, when the Cubs were approaching and reaching first place. That whole "Bradley turned it on when it didn't matter" is completely untrue.

The non-Bradley Cubs went into a tailspin straightaway while Bradley did nothing but hit. Then, while he was still hot, Sullivan printed that crap about Bradley accusing Cub fans of racism without so much as a single quote that backed up that headline.

That's when things went to total crap. By then, as Bradley was wrapping up the single best stretch in the season for any Cub hitter not named Lee, Cub fans said they were booing Bradley for his play on the field.

And here's one reason most people don't consider when wondering why he's played for 7 teams: he's played for mostly teams that let a TON of good free agents go or trade them before free agency rather than paying them what they're worth. Montreal, San Diego, Cleveland, Oakland. The Rangers offered him arbitration, so it's not like they rejected him. They didn't let him go. He sought out the Cubs.

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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The Cubs moved into first place on July 26. Here are Bradley's numbers from then until Aug. 25 when the Cubs were nine games out and done for the season (at least as far as everyone but Jim Hendry was concerned).

BA: .295
OBP: .427
HRs: 3
RBIs: 9
Extra base hits: 7

Single best stretch besides Lee? Even if you include Aug. 26 when he homered and had three RBIs those numbers are pedestrian. His OBP was good but still below his season OPB from 2008.

His OBP from Aug. 26 until he was suspended was .313, he walked four times and drove in 8 runs. So he was pretty mediocre over this last month.

It's a fallacy that Bradley in any way had a good year, and his only good stretch was barely that. He contributed nothing but bad things to the 2009 season.

AndCounting said:

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He was hitting 2nd almost that entire time. A .427 OBP is freaking gold in that slot. Pedestrian my ass.

AndCounting said:

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And why would you not include Aug. 26, except for the chance to skew the numbers? And yes, his season OBP was ridiculously high in 08. Some GMs like it when their hitters don't make outs.

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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I took a one-month period, and if I was trying to skew the numbers I wouldn't have pointed out that one game. In any event, it showed his hot streak was really just a nice stretch.

And yes, his 2008 OBP was very good. So dropping 50 points in 2009 would be an indication that he, I don't know, had a crappy year and didn't earn his hefty salary?

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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You don't give $30 million to singles hitters whose greatest skill is walking. Pedestrian.

AndCounting said:

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Hitters who can avoid making outs are invaluable, not pedestrian. The thing is, I'm not saying he had a good year. He had an average year, which really wasn't worth the money they paid him, but not a complete ripoff either. His OPS+ was 99, which amounts to an average year of slugging + OPS. That's not good. It's definitely not terrible.

Maim said:

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Fukudome's trainer used to live in my friend Eric's building. One day Eric walked out to get his mail and Kosuke was hanging out by the mailboxes. They said "hi" to each other.

That trainer guy moved, though. Dick.

WmR said:

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First,,, it is amazing how Hendry's job this offseason is to un-do everything he did last year (Gregg, Bradley, Miles, Heilman).. and we need an actual 2nd baseman.. not a platoon of utiliy guys.

As for Dunn, I live in DC.. he does some radio talk shows here and comes off as a real nice guy. I wouldn't say he is a "bad" clubhouse leader, he just isn't a leader - which is fine not all 25 guys have to be leaders. Would have been worth about 10 more wins than Bradley. Plus,, he takes alot of walks playing for the Nationals. If he was batting between Lee and Ramerez teams would have to pitch to him more and his numbers probably would be higher than what he will post in DC. That said, we need anyone but Bradley and a decent 2nd baseman. We could have had Orlando Hudson, or landed Freddie Sanchez.

millertime said:

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And I actually don't think he's bad either, he's one of my favorite players. My point is that when things go wrong for a team, media and fans tend to want to find a reason things went bad. Using injuries, or just stating that sometimes teams and players just have "downer" years all at the same time doesn't cut it. Same thing if a team wins. The story isn't as fun if all you can write is "Team X won because all of their players are super talented". It's much nicer to write that Team X won because of their unorthodox, gritty, old school style, backed by their amazing story of a clubhouse brought together through hard times. That's the type of team you can write a movie about 20 years later, partner it up with Disney, and give away free shit at McDonalds. $$$.

Earlier in his career, Dunn has been characterized as that guy who strikes out too much, only hits HR, is bad in the clutch, and can't lead his team to vicory, and plays horrible defense. If Dunn would have played for the Cubs, he would have been viewed as a bad signing.

As far as Dunn being worth about 10 more wins than Bradley, I don't really understand how you got that number. I think you might be exaggerating the impact of one player over another a little bit. A hit for Bradley counts just as much as a hit for Dunn.

oog of ulams said:

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10 wins?

gravedigger said:

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I actually had a dream they traded him to the Rays with $8m for a minor leaguer.

Maim said:

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Your dreams are on par with mine, boringness-wise.

gravedigger said:

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haha, yeah. i also had a dream that we made a christmas ornament out of my boyfriends hair from the shower drain.

Umbra said:

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I choose to believe that you're drunk and that that's the reason why you didn't have enough inhibition to stop yourself before clicking 'Post Comment'.

gravedigger said:

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i wasnt themn, i am now.

gravedigger said:

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btw i keep reading this out loud and laughing

Mattitude said:

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Heard you on the radio this morning. I couldn't believe I was actually hearing criticism of Jim Hendry on WGN instead of the usual Dave Kaplan fawn job.
And yes Hendry's handling of minor league prospects is puzzling. Felix Pie and Corey Patterson are just two examples. But it's the Cubs' way. Remember Bobby Hill, Ben Crenshaw, Pat Cline, Ty Griffen?
What the Cubs need is a person to evaluate so Hendry can make better deals and better signings.

clyder1 said:

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Are you kidding? Hendry make better deals & signings?
Hendry is the worst GM in all sports! Just to make this brief - name one GM who can top our outfield signings of Soriano, Fukudome & Bradley. Let your closer go and pay Gregg. NO ONE CAN TOP THOSE FOUR ALONE & YOU KNOW THERE IS MORE! HENDRY IS AN IDIOT!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Have the Orioles had the same GM for a long period of time? Because they took Sosa, Patterson, and host of other bad Cubs off our hands. That's pretty bad.

gravedigger said:

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I keep rereading clyder's comment and have to believe that was sarcasm.

gravedigger said:

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Wait, maybe not.

I don't know. I'm gonna go drink. I wish there were fewer stupid people around here lately.

Maim said:

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I bought one of those Tuscan Lemon pre-mixed jugs with Lemoncello in it. And there's an SVU marathon on.

Do people really "go out" on Saturdays? Like, as the norm? Idiots.

gravedigger said:

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i do, or i dont. today, i dont know. im feeling pretty good already

FrankS said:

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I have a question. Could a team have a player occupy a spot on the 25-man roster, pay the player his salary as normal, but tell him that he cannot come to the ballpark?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Didn't we have one of those for the last 3 weeks in September?

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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They could try it, but I doubt they'd get away with it, based on the strength of the MLBPA. The Pacers did this last year with Jamal Tinsley, and got away with it for most of the season before the NBAPA filed a grievance and got an arbitration scheduled. The Pacers finally bought out the rest of his contract. But I think the MLBPA wouldn't sit idly by and let it happen.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I would think they wouldn't care as long as the player gets paid.

I think this would be Manny's dream job.

gravedigger said:

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I don't know if you're being serious, but I disagree. Much as I despise unions, I do think the MLBPA uses its extensive influence for the best interest of its players -- and would want to see the player be able to play.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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It's a matter of getting to the next contract. If a player's not playing, he's not positioning himself for the next payday

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I myself would be very happy to be paid anything to sit at home rather than work.

Edelweiss said:

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After seeing Julie at the studio today, I now know why she dislikes short players who claim to be taller than they are. Julie looks good for her age, and has a decent figure, but you can tell from her bearing that she is taller than she would like to be. Now at about 5' 7 1/2", she is no NWBA candidate, but she apparently got her growth early, and towered over the boys. When a boy claimed to be 5' 7", and was shorter then she was, it made her feel awkward. That now makes her resent short MLB players.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This is by far the weirdest thing anyone has ever written on this site.

And you're wrong. I was a gymnast, and grew late. And I love my height. I often wear heals that make me 5'10.

So suck it.

Edelweiss said:

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Oops....didn't mean to hit the tender spot.

Maim said:

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Who wished for a "delete post" option more than GD tonight? I bet I know!

gravedigger said:

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That would be Edelweiss.

No, seriously. No regerts.

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