Milton Bradley is making $12 million this year

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Let that sink in for a minute.

Milton Bradley, a 33-year-old corner outfielder with 125 career homers and 481 RBI, is making $12 million this year.

Credit Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who gave Bradley a three-year, $30 million contract after the biggest season of his career.

Even though Bradley was viewed by most as a head-case with major anger issues. 

Even though Bradley was terribly injury prone.

Even though the one team that Bradley had played for that seemed to have no real problem with him and for which he had just enjoyed his career year and had the DH spot available for him wasn’t interested in offering him anything more than a one-year deal.

(That would be Texas.)

Three years and $30 million for a player who just a year previously had his season ended when he blew out his knee while being restrained by his manager so that he wouldn’t go after an umpire.

If Bradley is done as a major leaguer — and given the way he’s played since joining the Mariners, he may well be — he’ll leave the game tied with Michael Tucker and Tito Francona, among others, for 550th place on the all-time home run list.  He wouldn’t even crack the top 1,000 in RBI or runs scored.

That’s an awful lot of ink spilled and money spent on a guy who only occasionally proved to be worth the hassle.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.