Rays 'close' to getting Milton Bradley from Cubs

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs “are close to trading Milton Bradley” and “all indications are that he’ll be going to Tampa Bay.” Bradley has been linked to the Rays for quite a while now, with rumors swirling around various versions of a potential Bradley-for-Pat Burrell swap of unwanted contracts.
It’s unclear whether Burrell is actually involved at this point, but presumably the Rays would need to shed his contract before bringing in Bradley. Nightengale also notes that the Cubs will “try to sign either Mike Cameron or Marlon Byrd” once they trade Bradley. Cameron or Byrd in center field with Alfonso Soriano in one outfield corner and a Burrell-Kosuke Fukudome platoon in the other would make some sense.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.