Throwin' Good Money at the Bad
I for some reason just can't seem to understand this immediate need to throw $30M+ at a right fielder.
I don't see Milton Bradley as the answer to any of the lineup's problems, as Bradley has only been able to play in about 60% his teams' games since he came into the big leagues and he spent one full season (last season) as a DH. If everyone is so unhappy with Fukudome, his performance and his contract, I don't see how adding another player with just as many unknowns to a similar contract is a good idea. The prospect of not knowing what to expect from CF or RF for the next 3 years, while paying $60M+ for the two doesn't seem like a good investment to me.
I understand the team just cleared payroll space by trading Marquis and DeRosa, but at the same time I don't see what the immediate need to spend it is either. I think the team could do much better in investing $10M for 2009 than settling for Milton Bradley. That money could be used to help complete a trade for Jake Peavy, if that is possible, or it could be held until a better opportunity presents itself. Adding one player based on their handedness doesn't even balance out the order, and thats even given the assumption that Fontenot will start at 2nd and Fuku in CF. The cub's lineup is going to be right-handed dominant because 5 starters are RH hitters (Soriano, Soto, Ramirez, Lee, Theriot) before you even determine who plays the other positions, so if you really want to balance out the lineup one of them needs to be moved for a LH hitter at that same position. The point I am making is that adding Bradley doesn't add much to the threat the cubs pose from the left-handed batters box, and it really won't change the approach of other teams facing the cub's lineup. So my question is, what's the rush to throw $30M at the guy and lock him up for 3 years? If money is so tight, why is the team paying a premium for an unproven, questionable character?
But then again adding the player that led the league in OBP and putting him in the cleanup spot would be exactly what I would expect from an organization that takes their second best run producer and slots him to lead-off. The team is taking good money, that was hard to come by, where players had to be traded to get it; and they're using it to enter into another bad contract - which is what got them into the problem of not having money to work with in the first place. So the cycle continues: the team overpays for another player that won't play up to their pay, and it gives management something to talk about at the cubs convention coming up - which we all know is extremely important.