Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Transaction Oracle > Discussion
Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mariners - Acquired Bradley

Seattle Mariners - Acquired OF Milton Bradley from the Chicago Cubs for P Carlos Silva and $9 million.

When someone points a gun at your child and demands your wallet, you’re forced to do it.  When you’re found guilty of a crime and sentenced to prison you’re forced to do it.

When a baseball player has problems with the team in the midst of a disastrous season, you’re not forced to trade him.  There’s nothing in the Chicago-Bradley that couldn’t have been repaired with a 6 month offseason cooldown period and the Cubs playing better baseball in 2010.  One could say that the Cubs are saving money because they considered Bradley a sunk cost, but there was no reason to consider him as such.  Baseball management likes to take shots at cold, unfeeling robot statheads, but for all the rhetoric, if you can’t find a way to come to terms with Bradley, a player who can help your team, all your vaunted people skills are for nothing.  If my $12K car needs a $1K transmission repair, the annoyance of having the transmission repair doesn’t make the car worthless and if I give it up for nothing, I’m stupid, not responsible.

What do the Mariners get?  They get to pay $29 million (including the $9 million sent to Chicago) to have an actual baseball player instead of $24 million to Carlos Silva.  The highlight of Silva’s career in Seattle was his shoulder injury.  The only way that this ends well for the Cubs is a Malthusian catastrophe that involves Silva getting eaten by rampaging cannibals.  I’ll put my money on the Mariners being 1st in the AL West and Milton Bradley magically becoming a non-problem.

2010 ZiPS Projections
————————————————————————————————-
Player     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Silva     5   8 20 19 106.0 124   60 13 26 53 5.09   77
————————————————————————————————-

 

2010 ZiPS Projections
——————————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————
Bradley     347 54   88 17 1 13 42 60 91   4 .254 .371 .421 113
——————————————————————————————————————

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2009 at 05:17 PM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. sportznut Posted: December 19, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3417586)
Purely from a numbers standpoint it doesn't make a ton of sense, but Bradley is a headache most teams don't want to deal with.
   2. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3417592)
Actually, from the perspective of an impending cannibal attack, this deal makes sense - they'll be full after finishing Silva, and thus won't eat any of the useful Cub players.
   3. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3417593)
The difference is that Bradley has the potential to be a contributor, headache or no, while Carlos Silva would struggle in AAA.
   4. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3417596)
When the government asks you to wear your seatbelt at the point of a gun, you're forced to do it?

SORRY! Couldn't help it. :-D
   5. Darren Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3417604)
I was pretty critical of the Red Sox bowing to Jay Payton's tantrum a couple years ago and getting rid of him. But this is Bradley's 8th team--at some point, don't you have to start believing them when they say he's not worth the headaches? (Granted, of course, that this makes the original signing of him a pretty poor idea.)

And if they decided that, then this is not a bad deal at all. Silva seems pretty likely to be a back of the rotation starter. Having him at 2/$15 mil. is much better than releasing Bradley and paying $20 mil.

The Mariners get to find out if they're the team that tame Bradley. A good risk for them as well.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:36 PM (#3417624)
Bradley's a pain in the ass. Carlos Silva actually stands in the way of wins.

Bradley's not setting fires or anything. In several of these instances of him not getting along with his teams, there's been a noted abundance of thin skin.

One of the reasons that managers are ex-players is the ability to deal with other professional athletes, many with large egos. Part of the purpose of having a manager is to deal with problem players like Milton Bradley. If they're not doing it, they're not doing their jobs.

For all of Dusty Baker's many faults as a manager, I think he'd actually handle Bradley quite well. Ron Washington handled Bradley extremely well.
   7. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3417633)
at some point, don't you have to start believing them when they say he's not worth the headaches?


What about Randy Moss, for instance? The Patriots have handled him exactly right. And instead of calling out Moss when he dogs it this week, they call out the other team and talk about all of the things Moss does well. I think if your team has the right attitude (from the owner on down to the players), you can make it work.
   8. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:47 PM (#3417641)
Does Wakamatsu's time in Oakland overlap with Bradley's? Maybe he knows what they're getting.
   9. Darren Posted: December 19, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3417653)
One of the reasons that managers are ex-players is the ability to deal with other professional athletes, many with large egos. Part of the purpose of having a manager is to deal with problem players like Milton Bradley. If they're not doing it, they're not doing their jobs.


And yet several managers who have had success elsewhere felt that Bradley was unmanageable. This seems to me to be one of the situations where Occam's razor would come into play. I say this as someone who wanted my team to get Bradley and thinks the Mariners are taking a reasonably smart chance here.

What about Randy Moss, for instance? The Patriots have handled him exactly right.


Moss was really only bad for one team, though, right? And that was a team that had a history of being a freakshow. Notice that the Cubs are not dealing Carlos Zambrano, who's certainly had his issues. They're only dealing Bradley, just as the A's, who've had several characters on their teams, felt the need to cut bait with him.
   10. rr Posted: December 19, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3417669)
Does Wakamatsu's time in Oakland overlap with Bradley's
?

Wakamatsu is buddies with Ron Washington, which is another reason Seattle fans are optimistic about it. DHing in a fairly low-key place, I think Bradley will do OK.
   11. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 19, 2009 at 07:28 PM (#3417675)
?

To answer my own question, nope. Wakamatsu was bench coach for Oakland for only the 2008 season.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 19, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3417683)
What about Randy Moss, for instance? The Patriots have handled him exactly right.


Don't we actually have to see how Moss performs in the next few weeks before we conclude the Patriots have the whole Randy-handling down pat?
   13. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 19, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3417684)
And yet several managers who have had success elsewhere felt that Bradley was unmanageable. This seems to me to be one of the situations where Occam's razor would come into play. I say this as someone who wanted my team to get Bradley and thinks the Mariners are taking a reasonably smart chance here.

Yeah, Bradley's had a "For Sale" sign on him since September, and the best offer the Cubs got was Carlos Silva and some cash. Maybe Hendry decided he needed offsetting contracts, regardless of talent, in which case he should be fired. Otherwise GMs aren't treating Bradley like a WAR commodity. There are clear reasons why Bradley is more valuable to the Mariners than to the Mets, but "Carlos Silva" means other GMs aren't just discounting Bradley's projected WARs (or tools, if you prefer). Rather they're completing ignoring that stuff.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3417717)
Maybe Hendry decided he needed offsetting contracts, regardless of talent, in which case he should be fired.

I'm not sure what you mean here -- all the Cubs were looking for was max payroll relief which has been pretty clear from the beginning. The earliest stories were about how the Cubs were sure they wouldn't have to eat all of Bradley's contract. Why would Hendry insist on an offsetting contract? It was the other teams doing that. The problem appears to be that the "best" (read as "least bad") contract he could get in return was Silva.

Anyway, I agree with Dan. Bradley does frequently act like a petulant, obnoxious teen ... so it was up to the Cubs to act like adults which they haven't.

The only way that this ends well for the Cubs is a Malthusian catastrophe that involves Silva getting eaten by rampaging cannibals.

I wonder if Silva's contract is insured. Does insurance come with the player when traded? He was hurt last year and I can well imagine that it's the sort of chronic injury that will require 2 more years on the DL to heal. The insurance companies are much too busy making sure that "health reform" results in billions of profits for them to bother with a measly $24 M insurance fraud case.
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 19, 2009 at 08:48 PM (#3417726)
Let me preface this by saying that I DO NOT LIKE THIS DEAL FOR THE CUBS.

But, from the Cubs perspective, Carlos Silva has nothing to do with this deal. The Cubs had decided that they needed to get rid of Bradley (wihch is what I hate about the deal; having previously hated the idea of guaranteeing 3 yrs/$30 million to a headcase like Milton Bradley). So, from their perspective, the question was entirely about how much salary relief they could get. Apparently, that's $6 million over two years ($21m for Bradley vs. ($24m for Silva - $9m from SEA)).

From the Cubs' perspective, they're basically giving Silva an NRI to spring training. If the Cubs actually put Silva on the major-league roster and he performs like ZIPS thinks he will, then that's, of course, a terrible move for the Cubs, but that's an issue of failing to recognize major-league talent or overvaluing spring training stats or not understanding the trade that they just made. But that's a separate issue entirely from this one.

Relative to yesterday, the Cubs are better off - they've got an extra $6 million. Relative to where they could/should be, Dan's 100% right, though, of course. Given that they already had him under contract, they should have just kept Milton Bradley and figured out a way to make that work.

Similarly, Silva's largely irrelevant to evaluating this trade from Seattle's perspective, too. From their perspective, Silva was already a sunk cost. All they've done here is essentially sign Milton Bradley to a 2-year, $6 million free-agent contract. Which strikes me as a very good deal for the potential upside of an All-Star caliber hitter weighed against the downside of bringing in a player who's already alienated one-quarter of MLB.
   16. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 19, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3417730)
I wonder if Silva's contract is insured. Does insurance come with the player when traded? He was hurt last year and I can well imagine that it's the sort of chronic injury that will require 2 more years on the DL to heal. The insurance companies are much too busy making sure that "health reform" results in billions of profits for them to bother with a measly $24 M insurance fraud case.


But doesn't that make this deal a whole lot worse for Seattle if this is true? If the Cubs could get insurance to cover Silva's contract, then surely the Mariners could as well. In which case, the Mariners aren't saving anything at all by trading Silva and are instead acquiring Milton Bradley for 2 years at a cost of $30 million. Which sounds like a pretty bad overpay even before taking into account that Bradley's something of a sociopath or whatever.

Maybe the Cubs are more clever/ruthless and think they can get away with something here that the Mariners couldn't/wouldn't. But I sure wouldn't bet large sums of money on the Cubs out-clevering very many teams out there, especially not one whose GM has the early track record that Jack Z.'s got out there in Seattle. No, I have to think that the Cubs are on the hook for Silva's contract.
   17. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2009 at 08:57 PM (#3417734)
But I sure wouldn't bet large sums of money on the Cubs out-clevering very many teams out there, especially not one whose GM has the early track record that Jack Z.'s got out there in Seattle.

The Cubs would have trouble out-clevering Br'er Mailbox.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2009 at 09:29 PM (#3417759)
having previously hated the idea of guaranteeing 3 yrs/$30 million to a headcase like Milton Bradley

While I didn't have a real problem with 3/$30 for Bradley I will say that it was foolish of the Cubs to sign him for that if they weren't willing to live with the headaches which were nearly inevitable with Bradley in Chicago.

On the insurance thing, I was mostly joking. (1) I don't know if the contract was insured; (2) I don't know if insurance comes with the contract -- I would guess not, that any contract would be between the Ms and the insurance company and the Cubs would have to renegotiate which would be tough now that Silva has a pre-existing condition; (3) obviously the insurance company would require proof that Silva is legitimately unable to pitch; (4) if Silva had a legit career-ending injury and was insured, Seattle would just claim the insurance (although maybe that would depend on how much of it was insured).

But does anyone know the answer to #2? Does insurance get transferred when a player gets traded?
   19. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3417766)
You sure about that Silva projection Dan? I get a league ERA for Wrigley last year of just under 4.50 which puts Silva's project 5.09 at about an 88 ERA+ which is tolerable for a 5th/6th starter (probably not much different than Gorz). Was 5.09 his Safeco projection?
   20. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 20, 2009 at 01:34 AM (#3417862)
I always go back to Phil Jackson's handling of Dennis Rodman. Jackson would punish Rodman when he'd inevitably flake out and break team rules (missing pratices, etc.) but I never once saw him show the slightest amount of anger towards him. He seemed to know that screaming at Rodman was not the way to get what he needed out of him, and a policy of setting rules and punishments ahead of time was the sort of situation Rodman could accept.

Bradley is no doubt a handful to anyone whose job it is to work with him, but often I think the problems arise not just because of the wrong things Bradley does, but the poor reactions to them taken by his manager and teammates.

I mean why get mad when Milton Bradley acts like Milton Bradley? What were you expecting? Go about your job and let Bradley actually help you win games, and ignore him otherwise.
   21. McCoy Posted: December 20, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3417895)
I'm thinking the premiums on Silva's insurance would be so mind boggling high that insurance wouldn't be an option if any insurance would even touch it to begin with. I'm betting there would be a ton of clauses in that insurance.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3417902)
Baseball management likes to take shots at cold, unfeeling robot statheads, but for all the rhetoric, if you can't find a way to come to terms with Bradley, a player who can help your team, all your vaunted people skills are for nothing.


Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.

If Lou Piniella can't shepherd the team through this situation in order to avoid a disastrous trade like this, how useful is he?
   23. VegasRobb Posted: December 20, 2009 at 04:26 AM (#3417954)
Does Silva have in value pitching out of the bullpen as long man?
   24. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: December 20, 2009 at 04:37 AM (#3417961)
Bradley is a total jacksass and I instantly hated the signing last offseason. Having said that, there is nothing that Bradley did last year with the Cubs that couldn't have been anticipated by Hendry and the Cubs so their reaction almost seems bizarre. As Voros said, what were they expecting?
   25. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 20, 2009 at 04:49 AM (#3417967)
wrong thread
   26. JoeHova Posted: December 20, 2009 at 04:51 AM (#3417968)
(3) obviously the insurance company would require proof that Silva is legitimately unable to pitch;
(4) if Silva had a legit career-ending injury and was insured

I think he's able to pitch. Reports are that he's currently busy getting teed off on in the Venezuelan winter league. His sinker is supposedly looking "sharp" though, so Cubs fans can look forward to that.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2009 at 05:01 AM (#3417973)
Voros, I also use the Rodman-Jackson example a lot. Phil's attitude was basically "give me 17 rebounds a game and don't do anything stupid enough to get suspended and you can wear dresses all you want."

See also Jackson's handling of Pippen's refusal to go into the playoff game when the final play wasn't called for him to get the shot (this was the inter-Michael period). He didn't make a big deal of it with the media and Pippen started the next game per usual (Pippen did apologize pretty quickly as well). I don't know that there's any coach in any sport at any point in history that wouldn't have sat Pippen for the next game no matter what it did to their chances of winning the series. Hell, I'd have sat Pippen for that ####.

Meanwhile of course Jackson also had no problem with "Jordan rules" and wasn't gonna worry about it if any of the other players didn't like it (Oakley did at one point but that may have been pre-Jackson, Grant did at another point). He knew it would be counter-productive to joust with Jordan.

Jackson's got his flaws but he sure knew how to handle players and the media. His approach seems cold-hearted in one sense -- i.e. if you were gonna help him win the game, you could "get away" with stuff -- but it's also treating players like professionals who do understand what their job ultimately is. I often think that if Jackson had been Iverson's coach at the time of the "it's practice!" speech, Phil would have been right there agreeing with him. "Yep, it was practice. You gonna give me 28 points next game Allen?" "Yes, coach." "Good, pay a $1000 fine to charity and have a nice evening."
   28. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 20, 2009 at 06:02 AM (#3418003)
Relative to yesterday, the Cubs are better off - they've got an extra $6 million. Relative to where they could/should be, Dan's 100% right, though, of course. Given that they already had him under contract, they should have just kept Milton Bradley and figured out a way to make that work.

Or, at the very least, not actively working to make it NOT work.
   29. Ron Johnson Posted: December 20, 2009 at 07:18 AM (#3418036)
#18 Walt, will check with my family members in the insurance business. I'm around 80% confident that the insurance is on the contract and would transfer to the new team.
   30. God Posted: December 20, 2009 at 08:19 AM (#3418051)
Isn't it possible that the trade agreement included a clause regarding the possible disposition of Silva's insurance money, if any?
   31. Something Other Posted: December 20, 2009 at 10:28 AM (#3418068)
Guess I'm one of the few, but if Bradley is as much a pain in the ass as he seems to be I wouldn't want him on my team or in my clubhouse, 113 OPS+ be damned. Sacrilege, I know...
   32. Ron Johnson Posted: December 20, 2009 at 12:29 PM (#3418078)
I mean why get mad when Milton Bradley acts like Milton Bradley?


While I more or less agree with your take (and Dan's), I have to say it's beyond stupid to pick up Bradley without making sure that your manager is truly onside. Because it's completely predictable that Bradley will do or say something that can create a situation. Doesn't need to get out of hand but we all know it will unless Bradley is managed. (no guarantees even with the best handling)

No idea why anybody thought the mix of Bradley and Piniella would work -- beyond perhaps the fact that Billy Martin and Rickey Henderson had a great relationship. But Henderson was a different kind of difficult. A lightning rod to be sure, but petulant rather than explosively angry. And to bring this full circle, Piniella had a terrible relationship with Henderson.
   33. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 20, 2009 at 01:00 PM (#3418082)
I have to say it's beyond stupid to pick up Bradley without making sure that your manager is truly onside.

How do you make sure a human relationship will work?

These Bradley threads have a lot of bump-ability. If nobody was willing to pay more than $6 million for two years, it's easy to construct a scenario where Bradley is out of baseball a year from now. I guess that depends on things that have little do with Bradley's state of mind, such as the rest of the Mariners performing well enough that they make the playoffs.
   34. McCoy Posted: December 20, 2009 at 01:49 PM (#3418085)
Voros, I also use the Rodman-Jackson example a lot. Phil's attitude was basically "give me 17 rebounds a game and don't do anything stupid enough to get suspended and you can wear dresses all you want."

See also Jackson's handling of Pippen's refusal to go into the playoff game when the final play wasn't called for him to get the shot (this was the inter-Michael period). He didn't make a big deal of it with the media and Pippen started the next game per usual (Pippen did apologize pretty quickly as well). I don't know that there's any coach in any sport at any point in history that wouldn't have sat Pippen for the next game no matter what it did to their chances of winning the series. Hell, I'd have sat Pippen for that ####.

Meanwhile of course Jackson also had no problem with "Jordan rules" and wasn't gonna worry about it if any of the other players didn't like it (Oakley did at one point but that may have been pre-Jackson, Grant did at another point). He knew it would be counter-productive to joust with Jordan.

Jackson's got his flaws but he sure knew how to handle players and the media. His approach seems cold-hearted in one sense -- i.e. if you were gonna help him win the game, you could "get away" with stuff -- but it's also treating players like professionals who do understand what their job ultimately is. I often think that if Jackson had been Iverson's coach at the time of the "it's practice!" speech, Phil would have been right there agreeing with him. "Yep, it was practice. You gonna give me 28 points next game Allen?" "Yes, coach." "Good, pay a $1000 fine to charity and have a nice evening."


Jackson has been blessed by having his best players be practicaholics. Jordan set the tone for the team and there was no need for Jackson to force anyone to practice. Jordan made sure his teams practice hard and if he didn't think you were giving it your all then you would find a ball upside your head at some point. Rodman doesn't work without Jordan on that team. Jordan and his presence influenced everybody on that team.

As for Pippen and sitting out Jackson knew his man. Jackson was shocked and appalled at Pippen but he knew that the players would take care of it and that if he came down on Pippen it would make everything worse. Jackson has always had a veteran team that knew how to govern themselves.
   35. Ron Johnson Posted: December 20, 2009 at 08:45 PM (#3418235)
How do you make sure a human relationship will work?


You can't. What's more there are plenty of examples of managers who were sure they could work with a difficult player and were proven wrong.

All I'm saying is that I think it's prudent to give your manager an absolute veto when contemplating adding Bradley. It's just not going to work out well if the manager isn't truly behind the project. And Bradley is always going to be a project.
   36. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 20, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3418241)
For all of Dusty Baker's many faults as a manager, I think he'd actually handle Bradley quite well. Ron Washington handled Bradley extremely well.

Indeed. He certainly handled Bonds well.
   37. zonk Posted: December 20, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3418251)
I think Dan - and others - are underestimating the depth of the rift. This wasn't just a Lou/Bradley rift (though I believe Lou was calling him a "piece of ####\" as early as June). This wasn't just a fans/Bradley rift (Cubs may be the most hyperbolic, fickle fans in the world - but there were multiple moments early in the season where Milton was given curtain calls. He could have been loved - Dave Kingman, every bit the antisocial jackass as Bradley, had a season and a half where the city did everything in its power to love him). This wasn't just a media/Bradley rift (even though he was being a boor to the media dating back to his spring training gimpiness). This wasn't just a teammates/Bradley rift (though at least Theriot and Dempster have popped off on him, while Derek Lee - perhaps the most respected Cub - gave an interview after the all-star break that was described as 'exasperated' in talking about what he'd tried to do to help Milton adjust to Chicago).

It was all of those things. You can mend one or even a couple of them - but how do you mend them all once?

The only thing that was going to change over time was the 9 million the Cubs save against releasing him outright.

The mistake was signing Bradley to begin with... I wanted Adam Dunn.
   38. McCoy Posted: December 20, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3418254)
Indeed. He certainly handled Bonds well.


That is because Bonds handled himself well. Bonds didn't go after other players in the press. Didn't really blame the fans or the press for anything. Bonds just never acted anything like Bradley. For the most part there wasn't really much Baker had to "handle" in regards to Bonds.
   39. McCoy Posted: December 20, 2009 at 09:53 PM (#3418256)
It was all of those things. You can mend one or even a couple of them - but how do you mend them all once?

I think the answer to that is to address these issues before they become a problem. The Bulls under Jackson/Jordan were in fact pretty good at this. Rodman coming to the Bulls wasn't done on a whim. Jackson, Jordan, the coaching staff, everybody really had a play for Rodman and how they were going to handle him. There was a certain amount of cross your fingers and hope it works out but it was a very small amount of that. With Bradley it appears the Cubs did almost nothing to prepare the situation so that everything would go smoothly or at least have a chance to go smoothly.

The end of Bradley's tenure looks to me eerily similar to Scottie's career in Chicago. Scottie Pippen could have been a huge problem for the Bulls but Jackson and Jordan handled him well and got the most out of him. Besides sitting out of the playoff game Pippen spited the Bulls by waiting on surgery and constantly bemoaned his status and pay. Jackson instead turning it into a confrontation in which the organization has to be the one that wins simply tried to solve the problem by communicating intelligently with Pippen.
   40. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2009 at 10:27 PM (#3418273)
It was all of those things. You can mend one or even a couple of them - but how do you mend them all once?

Win games. Winning games has a way of turning festering wounds into paper cuts. Bringing in Carlos Silva and maybe Scott Podsednik just salts them.
   41. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 20, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3418275)
For the most part there wasn't really much Baker had to "handle" in regards to Bonds.

One could say that Baker had a lot to do with that. Baker may not be able to tell the difference between a good player and a AA organizational player, but he's always good at "letting x be x." It's the Symmetric Property of Dusty.
   42. pinball1973 Posted: December 21, 2009 at 01:43 PM (#3418467)
Somebody should run a simple test of the Cubs' FO savvy: have them all read any random issue of "Superman" and, once finished, ask them who Clark Kent really was.

Given this single trade, most of them would answer something like "the crack reporter for the Daily Planet."

Of course, a few of them would likely get the name of the newspaper wrong, and at least one is sure to be completely illiterate.
   43. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:13 PM (#3418494)
Win games. Winning games has a way of turning festering wounds into paper cuts.


They were winning. The Cubs were tied for 1st on August 5th -- they were just 2 and 1/2 games out in late June when Lou called Milton a "piece of ####\".

Milton Bradley looks a lot more manageable from afar.... wait till he infest your team's clubhouse. It's a completely different story.

The guy's simply a grade A ####### and his offensive contributions are NOT at a level where teammates, coaches, and management are willing to just grit their teeth through it as they might be with a Manny Rameriz.

Add to that - he's eternally gimpy.

Milton Bradley in a nutshell?

He gets suspended the first week of the season for an altercation with an umpire (and yes, yes - it was BS 'contact'). At the same time, he's dealing with the first of his unending tender whatever-limb-is-due-to-be-tender-that-week. The smart move was pretty obvious - he could have used a game or two to rest his hammy/groin/whatever it was... Instead, he fights the suspension because "it's the principle of the matter".

It's little wonder why certain philosophical segments of BBTF have a blind spot for Milton's near worthlessness :-)

[Edit: Let me be clear, though - I have no illusions about Carlos Silva - all this move does is save the Cubs 9 million against releasing Milton outright. He'll be this year's Luis Vizcaino. But Milton wasn't going to play for the Cubs again - there was no way to "fix" things. You cannot have 24 players in a clubhouse, not to mention the manager, with utter contempt for the 25th. No doubt, just as Jason Marquis pitched his way to the ASG, I have little doubt Milton Bradley will hit 330/400/500 and win a Nobel Peace Prize in Seattle... just the way the world works]
   44. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3418520)
BTW - Let me add... I'm not defending Hendry in this matter - I just think his mistake was signing Bradley to begin with. Once events had run their course, I just don't think there was much more than this that could be done. From a baseball standpoint, I'd have rather shipped cash to Tampa and taken a flyer on Pat Burrell, but it's quite possible that the team wasn't in a financial position to do that.

If the Cubs spend another 18 million on drek (9 mil incoming from SEA + the 9 mil it sounded like it would have taken to ship him to TB) - then I'd reexamine this trade.
   45. toratoratora Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3418532)
Employee relations

“The 1948 season also brought major change to the Red Sox landscape. Joe Cronin moved from the dugout to the front office, replacing the retiring Eddie Collins as Boston’s General Manager. Former Yankee manager Joe McCarthy, who had overseen New York’s dynasty in the late 1930’s and had also guided the Cubs to the pennant, became the Red Sox manager. While with the Yankees, McCarthy had carved a reputation as a taskmaster and strict disciplinarian, enforcing rigid rules on all his players. For example, he had required his Yankees to wear suits and ties. Boston writers, expecting the worst, wondered how McCarthy’s disciplined regimentation would sit with Red Sox players, particularly Williams, who didn’t like to wear suits and refused to wear ties. Instead, Ted preferred colorful sport shirts.
To the surprise of many, the controversy never developed. As many of the Red Sox players gathered in the team’s dining room, McCarthy made his first dinnertime appearance. Everyone, including the writers, noticed that “Marse Joe” was wearing a loud sport shirt with an open neck-and no tie. Displaying an impressive ability to adapt, McCarthy had immediately relaxed his rules for the Red Sox. McCarthy’s decision appeared to be inspired almost entirely by William’s presence in a Boston uniform. “Anyone who can’t get along with a .400 hitter is crazy,” said McCarthy, who not only changed his rules for his players, but also for himself”

Source-Markusen, Bruce, Ted Williams-a Biography
   46. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3418534)
Milton Bradley has quite a ways to go before he's anything close to the player Ted Williams was, and Ted Williams has quite a ways to go before he's anything close to the malcontent Milton Bradley is.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3418535)
Guess I'm one of the few, but if Bradley is as much a pain in the ass as he seems to be I wouldn't want him on my team or in my clubhouse, 113 OPS+ be damned. Sacrilege, I know...

I agree. Especially b/c it's a 113 OPS+, not a 150, and he'll play like 120 games, tops.

You might put up with his BS if he was a true star, but for a mildly above average player, why bother?
   48. The Good Face Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3418543)
I agree. Especially b/c it's a 113 OPS+, not a 150, and he'll play like 120 games, tops.

You might put up with his BS if he was a true star, but for a mildly above average player, why bother?


Teams bother because of his 2007/2008 numbers, where he was much, much better than a 113 OPS+ hitter. 2008 Bradley was an impact player. That said, I thought the Cubs blew it when they signed him, and I can see why a team might decide he's just not worth the headache.
   49. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3418547)
I saw "Mariners- Acquired Bradley" and wondered why the Scott Bradley or Phil Bradley thread had been revived. I'm very, very old.
   50. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:59 PM (#3418565)
I did something similar - thinking of a retro-entry on Phil Bradley / Glenn Wilson (and reversing the terms). Granted, it was 3AM at the time...
   51. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3418568)

Teams bother because of his 2007/2008 numbers, where he was much, much better than a 113 OPS+ hitter. 2008 Bradley was an impact player.


Over total 750 PAs for the entire season... but sure.
   52. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:25 PM (#3418588)
Over two seasons, I meant.
   53. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:38 PM (#3418602)
Similarly, Silva's largely irrelevant to evaluating this trade from Seattle's perspective, too. From their perspective, Silva was already a sunk cost. All they've done here is essentially sign Milton Bradley to a 2-year, $6 million free-agent contract. Which strikes me as a very good deal for the potential upside of an All-Star caliber hitter weighed against the downside of bringing in a player who's already alienated one-quarter of MLB.

I feel like this is taking the idea of sunk costs WAY too far (heh, I initially typed "suck costs" which always first. Anyway...). Perhaps this is how the Mariners justified sending the Cubs $9mil, but I don't think it's entirely correct to base our analysis on a 2yr/$6mil deal for Bradley.

Regardless, I'm with just about every other Cubs fan in this thread. This whole thing was awful, from start to finish, even though I was one of those who didn't think the initial Bradley deal was that bad. But it highlights everything that Hendry can't do as a GM. And I'll hope that Silva doesn't make the team and the Cubs can justify eating that $15mil. If nothing else, we know Lou won't play him if he sucks as bad as we expect. So that's something.

While I more or less agree with your take (and Dan's), I have to say it's beyond stupid to pick up Bradley without making sure that your manager is truly onside. Because it's completely predictable that Bradley will do or say something that can create a situation. Doesn't need to get out of hand but we all know it will unless Bradley is managed. (no guarantees even with the best handling)

Maybe I'm inferring too much here, but Lou was on board with signing Bradley. They talked about how much Bradley recruited the Cubs (more than they recruited him) and that Bradely had talked to Lou about coming here before he signed. So even though the worst case scenario happened, it wasn't sprung on Lou and he had to have an idea what he was getting into.
   54. The Good Face Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3418605)
Over total 750 PAs for the entire season... but sure.

Over two seasons, I meant.


Hey, *I* wouldn't want the guy on my team for anything more than a 1 year/low $ contract, but people were asking why teams bother. They bother because Bradley is capable of putting up 500 PA of outstanding hitting. He's also capable of putting up a 110 OPS+, getting hurt, and being a ####### of epic proportions. The poster boy for signing to a 1 year "make good" contract. The Cubs were just idiots for giving him both $$$ AND years.
   55. Spahn Insane Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3418612)
He's also capable of putting up a 110 OPS+, getting hurt, and being a ####### of epic proportions.

Or a 99 OPS+, as he did last year, despite being healthy by his standards. Not that I disagree with your points generally.
   56. Spahn Insane Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3418614)
Regardless, I'm with just about every other Cubs fan in this thread. This whole thing was awful, from start to finish, even though I was one of those who didn't think the initial Bradley deal was that bad.

Yeah, I was willing to give it a day in court, even knowing the risks. But even though the Bradley saga turned out as pretty much a worst-case scenario come to life (excepting Bradley's relatively good health, which was a mixed blessing itself because of Bradley's mediocre play and his constantly being under the microscope), that worst-case scenario was (1) highly foreseeable, and (2) from the Cubs' perspective, mostly self-inflicted. Just an ugly, ugly turn of events.
   57. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3418619)
Saturday, June 28, 1986

Mariners - Acquired Bradley

Seattle Mariners - Acquired C Scott Bradley from the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later.

Why are you asking me? I'm 8 years old. I got a Nintendo for my birthday last week, so I'm playing Super Mario Brothers. I don't even know who Ivan Cauldron is. I don't know what a ZiPS is.
   58. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3418628)
If nothing else, we know Lou won't play him if he sucks as bad as we expect. So that's something.


Quite true... Lou's doghouse is a jail from which there is no return. As much as it's a terrible thing when a useful player like a Mike Wuertz vanishes into it, it's quite effective for getting rid of vortexes of suck.

Maybe I'm inferring too much here, but Lou was on board with signing Bradley.


Every manager is onboard with Bradley because they think they can handle him. Thus far, in his whole career, encompassing what... 7? 8? mangers - exactly one made it work.

Just as Bradley may have been underrated from a statistics standpoint prior to 2008, I think people are underestimating what a truly 'problem child' he is.

Forget the hyperbole about Milton not burning down stadiums -- at least four different organizations (the Cubs, the Dodgers, the A's, and the Indians) have literally run him out of town... wanted nothing more to do with him. From among those four organizations - you've got a pretty darn good cross-section of "organization types", too... the laid-back Dodgers, the coldly anlaytical A's, the plucky small town Indians, the Cubs.

Milton Bradley isn't player that just needs the "right" environment to succeed, Milton Bradley is the type of player for which the "right" environment is a fleeting, fantastical thing that seems to require truly rare planetary alignments.

Rest assured, I'll be linking back to this TO come June, when Bradley pops off about Ichiro, gets in a fight with King Felix, and Chone Figgins is saying he would have never signed with the M's had he know he'd be sharing a clubhouse with Milton the terminally unhappy.
   59. zonk Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3418632)
They bother because Bradley is capable of putting up 500 PA of outstanding hitting.


OK - one more and I'm done piling on Milton...

In 10 seasons, he's gotten 500+ PAs just twice (one being his 2008 with 509). I suppose he'd have had a shot at 3 (though just barely) without the 2009 suspension, but I'd say say more like 400 PAs.
   60. Ziggy Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3418639)
Isn't Texas looking for a DH? I know someone who did pretty well there...
   61. Steve M. Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:52 AM (#3419184)
Rest assured, I'll be linking back to this TO come June, when Bradley pops off about Ichiro, gets in a fight with King Felix, and Chone Figgins is saying he would have never signed with the M's had he know he'd be sharing a clubhouse with Milton the terminally unhappy.

Uh, no. If he is even the least bit of an #######, you release him. As far as I can tell, there is really no downside here at all. Carlos Silva was an incorrigible sunk cost; the rationale in handling Bradley should be no different. There is a non-zero chance that Milton Bradley gives the Ms 400 PAs of better than average production for a LF/DH-type. For that reason alone, this was good move.
   62. Ron Johnson Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:05 AM (#3419187)
Ted Williams has quite a ways to go before he's anything close to the malcontent Milton Bradley is.


Dunno. William was hated by quite a few of his teammates in the early days. To my knowledge Bradley never had to be rescued from a teammate (beat up for failing to hustle in the minors) and there were several spitting incidents, a trade request during the season. And I'm sure I could come up with plenty of others.

Without his wartime service I think he ends up with a reputation in the Allen/Hornsby range. And it's worth noting that McCarthy had no run-ins with Hornsby. Mind you, Hornsby did get him fired so perhaps you can't claim totally clear sailing.

Young Babe Ruth was on par with Bradley I'd say.

Yeah all of them were good enough that you look for somebody who could deal with them (which is a point you made in the part I cut)
   63. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 06:52 AM (#3419304)
As much as it's a terrible thing when a useful player like a Mike Wuertz vanishes into it, it's quite effective for getting rid of vortexes of suck.


The problem is Lou is specific about what he considers a vortex of suck. I can see Silva settling into a Bob Howry role of throwing batting practice, as Lou keeps running him out there cause he's not walking anybody.
   64. zonk Posted: December 22, 2009 at 02:50 PM (#3419382)

Uh, no. If he is even the least bit of an #######, you release him.


Sure... for 9 million more than it would have cost to release Silva, which is why the Cubs made the deal.

As for Williams/Bradley - yeah, I undersold's Williams' case of the redass by a good margin... part of that is that it's just so ridiculous to bandy Bradley's name about with true greats. The only fight I can remember Milton getting in with a teammate was Jeff Kent (but then, I think everyone fights with Jeff Kent).

I mean, people, come on... We're talking about a 113 OPS+ - not a 130 or a 150.... from a corner OF/DH.... who cannot and has never been able to stay healthy... who is now on the wrong side of 30.

BTW- this ought to portend well... We all know how much Milton welcomes constructive criticism:

From David Aardsma:

“His ability never has been the question. It’s the locker room-type stuff. As long as we figure that out, awesome.”
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3419389)
Young Babe Ruth was on par with Bradley I'd say.

Huh? He had some authority issues, sure, but Ruth had no anger issues and was never hated by his teammates.

His suspensions were largely for violating the "no barnstorming by World Series partcipants" rule, that was repealed in the mid-1920s, i.e. total BS.

Besides the "dangling Miller Huggins from a train incident", which I'm pretty sure was a big joke to babe, what puts him in Bradley territority?
   66. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 22, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3420277)
Um, didn't Ruth punch out an umpire?
   67. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3420287)
Besides the "dangling Miller Huggins from a train incident", which I'm pretty sure was a big joke to babe, what puts him in Bradley territority?


So if Milton considers his indiscretions big jokes, they're okay?

Bradley's teammates haven't hated him in the past, and other than that Ed Hardy wearing midget Theriot, his Cubs teammates don't seem to have real strong opinions against him. It's an authority thing with Milton.
   68. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 22, 2009 at 11:48 PM (#3420300)

Huh? He had some authority issues, sure, but Ruth had no anger issues and was never hated by his teammates.

Besides the "dangling Miller Huggins from a train incident", which I'm pretty sure was a big joke to babe, what puts him in Bradley territority?


Oh, you could write a book simply outlining Ruth's poor behavior.

- Refused to learn his teammates' names.
- Literally waving his paycheck in teammates' faces to taunt them.
- Punched umpire Brick Owens.
- Threw dirt in umpire George Hildebrandt's face.
- Got in a fight with Wally Pipp.
- Threatened Miller Huggins repeatedly.
- Chased heckler out of park with baseball bat.
- Punished by the Yankees constantly for insubordination.

And it goes on and on. Ruth's 1922 suspension for barnstorming was only the first of 5 suspensions for Ruth that year.

Ruth was a great player, but he was also a grade-A #######, both in and out of the game, and would be absolutely excoriated by the press if he played today.
   69. Ron Johnson Posted: December 23, 2009 at 12:12 AM (#3420317)
but Ruth had no anger issues


#66, yes. He was also the player most frequently fined for profane and abusive language in the late teens. He also once did an Artest (worse actually, since he took his bat with him). And was restrained by an umpire later that season.

"It seems the period has arrived when you should allow some intelligence to creep into a mind that has plainly been warped." Ban Johnson to Ruth May 25, 1922 (Johnson would suspend Ruth 4 times that year. 3 times for confrontations with umpires about the level of Bradley's famous incident. Including throwing dirt in one ump's face)

In addition to his 5 suspensions in 1922 (one from Landis for barnstorming) he also had a fight with Wally Pipp in the dugout.

While the story that he dangled Huggins out of the back of a moving train is an urban legend, he did threaten him -- and try to have him fired.

He also tried to get Johnny Rawlings after one of the 1922 World Series games. And backed down when Earl Smith offered to stand in for Rawlings.

He was a central figure in a riot in Detroit (though to be fair his reactions weren't unusual for a player). I'm not using hyperbole. The Sporting News called it a "life-threatening situation for players, umps and police".

Started after a Detroit pitcher brushed back Ruth and then hit Bob Meusel in back to back PAs. Meusel charged the mound (yes it happened back then. Difference being it wasn't a ritual. What's more when a hitter wanted a piece of a pitcher nbdody got it the way). While Meusel and Cole were fighting, Ruth started screaming at Cobb -- claiming that Cobb had order what had happened (Cobb was the player manager)

Of course Cobb didn't back off and pretty soon everybody was on the field trying to keep Cobb and Ruth apart. (Two very big, strong guys. Not easy to keep them apart. They're just a few feet away struggling and screaming at each other)

Then the fans burst on the field. Police are called in but are unable to restore order.

and was never hated by his teammates.


Seems to have been true. The Pipp fight notwithstanding. None of the "Ruth is a rotten human being" articles that were in the Boston press before the 1920 season has anything from the players (even off the record). It's all from Frazee (significantly there's nothing from Barrow even though the relationship between Barrow and Ruth was anything but smooth) or just speculation from reporters about how the team will be better without the selfish and inconsiderate SOB.

His suspensions were largely for violating the "no barnstorming by World Series partcipants" rule


Nope. Most of the disciplinary actions against him were for audible obscenities. During the teens umpires had the authority to hand out on-field fines and Ruth picked up more than anybody.

But this cut both ways. "Hey you guys, I don't mind if you call me ########## or ############ or sonofabitch -- but lay off the personal stuff will you?" (To Rawlings and company before trying to get Rawlings)

EDIT: Pepsi to Dan (it's safe. He won't take it) We've been around this particular block before.
   70. McCoy Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3421334)
They were winning.

LAst season was one big long frustration for the Cubs. If it was 2002 or 2000 or 1997 the Cubs and their fans would have been happy with their record throughout the season but for this season the fans, the team, everybody expected more out of the Cubs. I seem to recall people talking about when Lou was going to explode before the summer even started and by the time summer started some people were saying either Lou had gotten too old, was giving up, or was going to be gone after the season. So it was most definitely not a relaxing clubhouse for most of the season for the Cubs.
   71. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3421348)
It's all from Frazee (significantly there's nothing from Barrow even though the relationship between Barrow and Ruth was anything but smooth) or just speculation from reporters about how the team will be better without the selfish and inconsiderate SOB.


I could be warped, but this strikes me as the main difference--it's not just that you have an unprofessional guy. ALL of these guys talking it in the media are ########. How hard is it to just say, "That's my teammate until he retires, gets hurt, cut or traded, so write what you will, but as long as he wins ballgames, I could give a ####?"

Now personally, I would say, \"#### my job" and speak my mind if the person was guilty of a horrible indiscretion like Castro. If people wanted to attack Bradley for his alleged spousal abuse, so be it. But to attack a teammate publicly to the media because of his "attitude" or because he doesn't play way with media, I'd kick a kid off a pee wee team for that, let alone a professional baseball franchise. That's destroying the value of our product.

That's not to say that some of Bradley's behavior doesn't do the same. But there's a right way of dealing with it. That would be internally. If it ever gets to a point that you cannot handle that, you should probably get shown the door too. At the least, you should be able to unload the player at maximum value before you run down your own value.
   72. McCoy Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:40 AM (#3421367)
Let us also not forget that Babe Ruth liked to urinate on his fellow teammates and had a ritual going for awhile where he would stuff the little dago ballplayer in his locker for luck before a game.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Id of SugarBear Blanks
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.9608 seconds
66 querie(s) executed