Cubs to stuff Bradley in a burlap sack, toss him in water, and leave him to the Mariners
(or: it's word-play on how a mariner relates to the sea)
Unbelievably, there's apparently a Milton Bradley trade scenario out there that the Cubs need poking and prodding to consider accepting. I'm writing of course about the proposed deal to Seattle that would land the Cubs not only a washed up pitcher with 23 million left on his contract, but cash on top of it to boot.
Jim Hendry, who hates Bradley, probably can't accept this deal fast enough.
Carlos Silva is not your standard Cubs starter, and if he came to Chicago he would hopefully not be used in that capacity. Perhaps he could be the Glorified Ball-boy. Or maybe they could have him serve as the gofer for Lou Piniella's coffee runs. It doesn't matter, but what I don't see serving as a benefit to the Cubs is the acquisition of a 30-year-old starting pitcher who managed an 8.60 ERA in the 6 starts he had last year. And even when he's healthy, we're talking about a guy who's never posted an ERA as a stater below 4.19, who's never struck out more than 89 batters in 202 innings, who would probably tax a weak middle infield at Wrigley.
Then again, Silva's best year was as a reliever -- way back in 2002 -- and his career totals in relief include a 3.73 ERA in 176 innings pitched. Perhaps it's not a bad trade if the Cubs can stomach paying a guy 8 figures to pitch in the 7th inning. Either way, if you want to know how desperate Hendry is to unload Bradley, break out your reading glasses to study the details of this trade once it's official. Even if the Mariners end up paying a portion of Silva's contract, the Cubs might be best served by simply releasing Milton and moving on.
Derrek Lee -- 2 years, $25 million?
Over in the Shoutbox, Goat Reader Eddie suggests that the Cubs should look into signing Derrek Lee to a 2-year extension for $25 million, minus a trade clause. He feels that D-Lee has earned it, the Cubs and Derrek should make a mutual expression of loyalty and get the deal done, and if things go sour he can always get dealt. Problem is, paying a first baseman in his mid 30's that kind of bread is its own no-trade clause, not to mention Lee would be a 5-and-10 player. A 5-and-10 is a guy who has played 10 years in the majors and 5 years with his current team, and he can't be traded without permission. So, for all sorts of reasons, $12.5 million is too much.
Realistically speaking, Hendry just might not be opposed to offering Derrek a 1 or 2 year deal, but if the money paid per year goes beyond 7 figures, then it's too much. The only problem is that Lee is one good season away from justly demanding an 8 figure salary, which puts the Cubs in a difficult situation. Except for one thing:
Baseball games are not won through demonstrations of loyalty or pandering to fan favorites. As much as I like Lee -- and I like him a lot -- it would be pretty stupid of the Cubs to go nuts trying to retain his services. Baseball is not short of players who can handle first base, and the Cubs may have viable options on their team at this moment who would be less expensive long-term solutions once Lee's contract is up.
Y'know. Like Micah Hoffpauir. (HAH!)