Report: Bradley talks involve Blue Jays, Mets, Rays

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal said Monday that the Cubs and Mets have discussed a deal that would send Milton Bradley to New York for Luis Castillo and then onto Toronto for Lyle Overbay.
Rosenthal believes such a deal is a long shot, since the Jays don’t appear to be interested in a one-for-one trade. Perhaps that would change if the Cubs sent enough money along with Bradley.
Rosenthal also reported that the Rays have put a Pat Burrell-for-Bradley deal on the table, though they would want the Cubs to pick up a substantial portion of the $12 million that Bradley will make in 2011. Both Burrell and Bradley are due $9 million next year, but Burrell will then become a free agent.
As for the three-team deal, it’d only seem to make sense for the Jays if the Cubs kicked in most of Bradley’s 2011 salary. Castillo, who will earn $12 million for two years, has to be viewed as a bit more valuable than Bradley at $21 million. Overbay, at $7 million for one year, has more value than either.
The Mets would see Overbay as a nice one-year option at first base while they wait on prospect Ike Davis. They should be able to find a cheaper stopgap at second than they would at first, though it’s also possible that they could make Orlando Hudson a multiyear offer to fill that spot.
The Cubs have room for Castillo at second base and at the top of their order, but there’s been some talk of moving Ryan Theriot off shortstop. He’s below average there, and a Castillo-Theriot double-play combination would be less than stellar.
Bradley would make a lot of sense for the Jays at a modest price. Toronto needs some more upside in its offense, and the DH spot would be available for him. In the unlikely event of a trade, the Jays would probably put Adam Lind at first base. Bradley could play some outfield, but the club would still need a right fielder to replace Alex Rios.

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

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The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.

Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.

The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.