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 II: The 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?