Monday, May 16, 2011

The Trouble With Milton Bradley

The Seattle Mariners made it official today, and released Bradley.  He had been designated for assignment last week, and no team was going to claim him, and pick the $9 million in salary still owed to Bradley.  He is now a free agent, and any team is free to sign him for the pro-rated minimum.  Will any team step up, and offer Bradley a contract.

For a brief time, Bradley looked like an MVP candidate.  The San Diego Padres acquired Bradley in 2007, and he provided the only protection that Adrian Gonzalez ever had in his tenure in San Diego.  He hit .313, with 11 HR's, and put up a Pujols-like OPS of 1.004.  With him and Adrian, along with solid veterans Mike Cameron and Khalil Greene, the Padres looked poised for a deep run to a pennant.  Then on "Black Sunday" Bradley and Cameron converged on a fly ball that led to Bradley stepping on Cameron's hand.  It ended Cameron's season.  Then, Bradley argued with an umpire, which lead to Padres manager Bud Black trying to restrain Bradley.  Milton tore his ACL, and was lost for the season.  The Padres went on to lose a one game playoff to Colorado.

The following year, Bradley signed with Texas and had a monster year, in which he led the American League in on-base percentage.  It resulted in Bradley signing a 3 year, $30 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.  Since then, Bradley's behavior has become increasingly erratic.

He was arrested in the offseason, for making threats to his wife.  She has since filed for divorce.  He has argued with reporters, announcers, and teammates.  At the end of the day, his production has hasn't matched the magnitude of his headaches.

Will Bradley get another chance in Major League Baseball?  I doubt it.  The guy can't play defense anymore, and he hit .209 in his tenure in Seattle.  He's 32, so he is at the end of his prime.  He is a headcase, who's risks outweigh the rewards he presents.  Sorry, Bradley, it doesn't look like you will be passing go anytime soon. 

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