Hot Stove 2010: Milton Bradley available


I know, he’s an injury risk and a punk, but outfielder Milton Bradley is reportedly eminently available. After signing him to a 3-year deal just last offseason, the Cubbies can’t wait to deal him. As we know, the Red Sox front office is all about “value” these days (for better or for worse). In baseball, one man’s garbage could be another man’s treasure; and this garbage could come cheap, given the circumstances.

I can’t believe I’m about to advocate trading for Bradley, but just hear me out. The tools are all there; he’s a switch-hitter who plays plus defense in CF (+6.6 UZR/150 lifetime) and RF (+6.9 UZR/150). He has had limited exposure in LF, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be an issue to play there. This is a guy who’s a career .277/.371/.450 hitter and just one year removed from a .321/.436/.563 performance (and that in the AL). He exhibits great plate discipline, though he is aggressive in the zone and puts the ball in play; Bradley is a good line drive hitter (21.0% lifetime) and can hit just about any offering pretty well. Bradley’s platoon splits pretty strongly favor his performance against LHP, so there’s room to allow some playing time to Jeremy Hermida and he could spell J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury as well, thanks to his defensive ability.

He’s going to be 32 years old next season, but he’s only got 2 years and $20M left on his contract, which starts looking pretty good when you compare that with $15-18M/year for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay (over 4-5 years!). This move would settle LF somewhat in the short term, while allowing for us to slowly bring in a youngster or sign another free agent after 2010 or 2011 if we have to.

Of course, there are negatives too. Bradley could very well injure himself and be a huge bust. He could do something stupid and ruin the team chemistry. Or he could turn in a very nice two seasons at a reasonable price. The Red Sox have shown that they are not averse to signing guys to play part-time if they have the talent and flexibility. My projections have Bradley at .275/.389/.449 (.377 wOBA) with 14 HR and 50 RBI for this year over 380 AB (451 PA). What do you think about this idea? Would you like to see Bradley in a Red Sox uniform?

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5 Responses to Hot Stove 2010: Milton Bradley available

  1. Tim Wright says:

    I heard a rumor that the cubs would have to pay for 90% of Bradley’s remaining contract to ship his off somewhere. If that’s the case, then sure, take a risk with him and if it doesn’t work out (or at the 1st sign of trouble) let him rot in AAA until his contract is over. And I’d make sure he’s aware that he’s on a short leash.

    I certainly wouldn’t pick up his whole contract though, and I wouldn’t give up too much for him since he’s a fairly volatile person. Given that he’s a decent ball player, but if I had to say either “yes” or “no” – I’d say no.

  2. Pat says:

    I love this idea. I like it better than Holliday, Bay, or Johnny Damon. I love the flexibility it gives us to have another center fielder. It would be like having an outfielding Youkilis equivalent (except more fragile). I’d take both years, most definitely. Like you said, when his contract is up, we might have a minor leaguer ready to join the line up.

    This idea makes me want to call Theo, and bug him about it.

    I hope the F.O. makes a decision and makes their move soon, before the options start to dwindle.

  3. redsoxtalk says:

    UPDATE: Apparently the interest in Bradley is increasing, and that means so is the price.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/10/multiple-teams-eyeing-milton-bradley.html
    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/1872758,CST-SPT-cub09.article

    Still, I don’t see any other teams out there able to beat the Sox in terms of how much of his salary to take on (maybe the Mets if they are in on him), so if we want him I think he’s still there for the taking.

  4. Jeff Carini says:

    This may not be a bad option. The only thing that worries me is his health.

    I think another option to consider would be Josh Willingham. Not sure what the Nats would want in return (maybe Bowden), but he would be perfect for a left field platoon with Hermida and he can also play right field and 1st base as well as an emergency catcher.

  5. Pingback: Links: Varitek exercises option, Bay, and Hot Stove chatter « Red Sox Talk

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