Mariners GM says Milton Bradley “is going to come in and compete for a starting position”

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Last week Milton Bradley was arrested and charged with a felony after allegedly threatening a woman, which is the latest in a long line of on- and off-field “incidents” involving the troubled outfielder who’s played for eight teams in 11 years.

At the time there was speculation the Mariners might simply get rid of Bradley, which given his sizable contract and awful 2010 performance would likely mean an outright release, but today general manager Jack Zduriencik suggested that won’t be the case.

Here are some of Zduriencik’s comments, first in a radio interview with Dave Mahler and then in a follow-up chat with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times:

Obviously, there’s a legal process that Milton has to go through. As of right now, he’s a part of the organization, and we’re planning on him coming into spring training and competing for a job. He’s a member of the organization, he’s signed. Our stand right now is that he’s going to come in and compete for a starting position. I think he competes for those two positions [left field and designated hitter], probably more toward left field. Because he’s a switch-hitter, when he’s healthy, there’s a degree of versatility.

In other words, if Bradley’s legal status doesn’t keep him from playing the Mariners will keep him on the roster. They’d surely love to simply void his contract, but as Craig wrote last week that’s highly unlikely. He has a court date scheduled for February 8.