Who Actually Thought the Milton Bradley Signing Would End Well?
If you had to break down worst baseball signings in the past 10 years or so, the contract the Cubs gave Milton Bradley would have to be up there. Now that’s not to say that Milton Bradley’s a bad ballplayer, but let me ask this: upon hearing the news that the Cubs had signed Bradley, who actually thought to themselves, “Wow, Bradley to the Cubs for three years? Great move. That is the piece they’re missing.” Honestly, I don’t understand what Jim Hendry was doing when he made that commitment. We even called this one back in March when Milton proclaimed that he was the reason the Cubs would win the NL Central. The only surprise is that Milton couldn’t even make it through his first season with the team before things went haywire. Matter of conjecture, this signing probably is the cherry on top of Hendry’s firing sundae.
Let’s think of all the bad reasons for making this deal. For one, the Cubs were overreacting to a playoff sweep by the Dodgers last year and decided they NEEDED to have a left-handed bat in their lineup. Considering Fukudome isn’t really working out, that’s a fine conclusion. The problem is that Hendry and Piniella decided that Milton Bradley was their guy and they needed to award him a three-year guaranteed contract to prove it. They ignored the fact that Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu are all left-handed bats who were on the free agent market. Even if the Cubs preferred Bradley to the alternatives, which is fine, they had no reason to give him a third year considering the market was so weak Dunn and Abreu got two and one year deals, respectively. They totally overpaid for Bradley when they had absolutely no reason to — that was terrible business.
Next, consider they gave a three-year deal to Bradley who has had an attitude issue at every single stop he’s ever made — Cleveland, LA, San Diego, Texas, Oakland, you name it — and that he misses more games than J.D. Drew. Who was Hendry trying to please more, Cubs fans or Dr. Phil? It was just such a bad move business-wise there was no reason to believe it would ever end well. It would be like Buffalo giving T.O. a three-year deal after he got cut by Dallas when hardly anyone else wanted him. I just can’t understand what the Cubs were doing but I really am surprised it has come to an end so soon. Now they’re going to have to eat almost all of his contract just to get rid of him? Here’s when you take a chance on the guy. Just make sure you only need 300 at-bats out of him because that’s about his max.