Milton Bradley traded to the Mariners: Wow, this is actually happening

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Larry Stone of the Seattle Times tweets that the Cubs are actually going to trade Milton Bradley to the Mariners for Carlos Silva.  An announcement could come later today. Holy Moses, it was more than just a rumor.

Now all Seattle has to do is figure out where to play him. Left field seems the most obvious choice, but there goes that vaunted Mariner defense. Maybe he’ll split time with Griffey at DH. Maybe a little first base.

No matter the case, with Bradley out in Seattle, we won’t be hearing nearly as much about him as we did when he was in Chicago.

UPDATE: The Mariners are paying the Cubs $9 million in the deal, which means that Chicago is saving $6 million after accounting for the imbalance between Bradley and Silva’s salaries. This makes it a much better deal for Chicago than it appeared at first blush, given that Silva is one of the worst pitchers in existence, while Bradley at least still has a chance at being a productive hitter.

UPDATE IIThe deal is officially announced.

12:20 P.M. Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs and Mariners are talking about a Milton Bradley trade, with the idea being that Seattle will send bad-contract Carlos Silva ($24 million) to Chicago for bad-contract Bradley ($21 million). Financially that makes sense, but I’m having a hard time picturing M’s fans enjoying Bradley (a) taking DH at bats away from Ken Griffey, Jr.; or (b) messing up an outstanding defensive team.  If Milton is manning the spacious Safeco outfield Cliff Lee might just retire and go sell insurance or something. But a suitor is a suitor, and the Cubs will take whatever they can get right now.

But are the Cubs “hamstrung” until they trade Bradley?  That’s what Heyman relates some people as saying.  This makes little sense to me.  Yes, a team usually is unable to make a move on a free agent or trade bait until they can unload the player whose absence will create the vacancy.  It’s a question of leverage really: if the team winds up with two guys for one position everyone will know that they are desperate to move the old guy, and it will be hard to make a good deal.

But this doesn’t apply to the Cubs and Bradley. Everyone already knows they need to move him. They know the Cubs are desperate. There is no way they can go into 2010 with Bradley in their outfield, so their leverage is already shot.

Maybe this Carlos Silva deal with work out for them — and if it does, Mazel Tov to Jim Hendry — but shot of that, the Cubs are either going to have to pay someone off to take Bradley or they’re going to have to release him.  In light of this, why not just go get Marlon Byrd or whoever they want to roam the Wrigley outfield next year right now?

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.