Goatriders of the Apocalypse

A closer look at the biggest free agent the Cubs are Targeting

 

Milton Bradely

 

He is a 30 year old, switch-hitting outfielder, who can play any of the 3 outfield positions.  Bradley has played in 9 seasons so far, and in those 9 seasons he has played for 6 different teams and only once has appeared in 140+ games.  He is a hitter that on average hits about .280, with the potential to hit in upwards of .320 or higher.  He has slightly above average power and speed, where the team can expect 20+ homers and 10-15 steals with 80-90 RBI's as well.  He is also a player that has been prone to strikeout, where in a 3 game series Bradley is likely to strikeout in 2 of those 3 games.  The one stat that absolutely jumps off the page at you, is the fact that Bradley played in 120 games last year and in those games he only played in the field 20 times.

 

So all in all, I would say that the package of Milton Bradley looks nice on the outside, but things could become a little more complicated after opening.  In my opinion, at 3 years $30M+ the gamble is a little too large and doesn't provide much wiggle room for the cubs.  Milton Bradley is consistent, but only when healthy, and probably one large reason he was able to play in 120+ games last season is because he had the luxury of being a DH for the Rangers - a luxury the cubs can't provide.  Bradley has also been a difficult player to deal with, and thats putting it mildly.  He has had issues with any other human he could possibly come into contact with on the baseball field; from teammates, to coaches, to fans in the stands, to umpires on the field, and even broadcasters calling the very same game he is playing in.  If things got to the point they did in the other places he has played I would have to bet that the relentless, never-ending Chicago media will get to him at some point.  So given the injury risk and interpersonal issues I think the team has to back away from paying a premium over a long period of time.  I'm not saying to not sign him, just play the move a little more conservatively by either offering less money or making it a 2 yr deal with a team option for a 3rd.  Look, we all know what Bradley is capable of in a perfect world, but you can't just look at that and ignore what he is capable of doing when things aren't going his way and that perfect world turns into a perfect storm.  Milton Bradley is one hell of a ballplayer and would be a nice addition, as long as the team is willing to take on his injury and behavior risks, and as long as the team realizes that he is a good LH hitter and not a good LH hitting slugger.

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