Milton Bradley undergoes knee surgery, out 4-6 weeks

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Milton Bradley’s season and maybe his terribly disappointing Mariners career could be over after he underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee Tuesday.
Bradley hadn’t played for the Mariners since July 26. If he had undergone surgery right away, perhaps he would have been ready to return right around Sept. 1. However, he chose to wait three weeks. It’s still possible that he could make it back for the final two weeks of the season, but the Mariners probably don’t care much one way of the other.
Bradley, acquired from the Cubs for Carlos Silva in an exchange of unwanted properties over the winter, hit just .205/.292/.358 with eight homers and 29 RBI in 244 at-bats for the Mariners. Since leading the AL in OPS with the Rangers in 2008, he’s driven in a total of 69 runs in 197 games for the Cubs and Mariners.
Of course, he’s earned $18 million during that time. And he’s guaranteed another $12 million next year under the terms of the deal Cubs GM Jim Hendry gave him in Jan. 2009. The final year of the contract was voidable if Bradley spent enough time on the DL during his first season with the Cubs, but he remained relatively healthy then and it contained no provisions for any injuries suffered during the 2010 season.
The Mariners will undoubtedly attempt to move Bradley this winter, knowing they’ll have to kick in a load of money or take on another bad contract in order to make it happen. Even that might be enough. With so many teams likely to have serious concerns about whether he can contribute at all, it’s possible no one will want to risk taking on his issues.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.