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.

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.