Milton Bradley has made headlines lately for basically refusing to stop talking about how miserable he was in Chicago, but did have some nice words for one member of the Cubs:
I have nothing bad to say about Jim Hendry. He gave me $30 million. God bless Jim Hendry and his family.
Most of the stuff Bradley says makes me roll my eyes and Cubs fans obviously have a much harsher reaction, but he has a point here. Bradley’s abrasive personality and various other issues shouldn’t have surprised anyone last year because he’d already worn out his welcome with six other teams in nine seasons, yet Cubs general manager Jim Hendry still handed him a $30 million deal.
Fans, media members, former teammates, and ex-coaches have been ripping Bradley to shreds, and rightfully so in most cases, but lost in all that is the big-league GM who gave $30 million to an emotionally unstable, oft-injured outfielder with a lengthy track record of issues and incidents. Bradley was being Bradley, but in theory at least Hendry should have known better.
If you pay $500 for tickets to a Britney Spears concert and she spends two hours lip-syncing terrible songs while prancing around in outfits that no longer fit you can certainly boo her off the stage and then complain for the entire car ride home, but ultimately what did you expect when you paid $500 for tickets to a Britney Spears concert. Hendry knowingly paid $30 million for the Milton Bradley experience and the Cubs certainly got it.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.