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A deal on Milton Bradley? You're buying a lemon

Nov 11, 2009, 11:33 PM EDT



The Chicago Cubs are eager to get rid of Milton Bradley. That much is clear.

And here is Jim Hendry’s pitch to potential trade partners (as imagined by yours truly):

Milton Bradley is a fine young man who is generally misunderstood. He has a wealth of talent, much of it as yet untapped. Just look at his career line of .277/.371/.450! Who couldn’t use that on their team? I know there was some controversy surrounding him in Chicago this past season but I’ll tell you how I’m going to help you forget about that: I’m going to eat half of the remaining $21 million left on his contract. Just for you, because I like you. How’s that sound for a deal? Are you ready to sign? *Pulls out pen*

Hendry’s used-car pitch is apparently effective. There have been rumors of a trade in the works with Toronto, as Matthew detailed earlier today. And the Rangers, obviously remembering Bradley’s league-leading .999 OPS in 2008, have shown interest in bringing him back.

Enter Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, who makes a point-by-point plea for the Rangers to avoid such temptation.

Grant mentions the poor 2009 season Bradley had in Chicago, and his durability issues (124 games in 2009, 126 in 2008), but things get even more interesting when the author gets into chemistry issues.

Bradley said after signing with the Cubs that he didn’t play in some selected games with the Rangers down the stretch in 2008 to protect his statistics in order to put himself in the best negotiating position. The Rangers have harped on a team-first approach as a big rallying cry for the 2010 season. There is no way that Bradley’s comments and actions can be viewed as anything but selfish.

I hadn’t heard that story before, but from everything I’ve seen about Bradley, it’s hardly surprising. Wherever he goes, Bradley makes himself the centerpiece story. He never shies from telling everyone how the world is out to get him, or how he has been wronged in some way.

It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With 10 big-league seasons under his belt, Bradley does get ripped frequently, sometimes unfairly. But when you spend your career going on self-indulgent diatribes, hurling things at fans, throwing temper tantrums, trying to charge press boxes, and insulting your fan base, you’re going to get a lot less slack from fans and writers alike.

So if you’re the Blue Jays, Rangers, or any other team sniffing out a potential bargain in Milton Bradley, don’t be fooled by Hendry’s spin. And think long and hard about what kind of presence you want in your clubhouse and on your roster.

Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

  1. Cru11 - Nov 11, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    Buyer beware. He is the next Vernon Wells plus the extra baggage.

  2. Hargin - Nov 12, 2009 at 12:40 AM

    Take my right fielder, PLEASE!

  3. BradleyPsycho - Nov 12, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    Milton Bradley is a psycho sociopath who needs professional help…and a CT head scan.

  4. willmose - Nov 12, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    The Cubbies should sign Milton to a ten-year extension. Bradley is the perfect Cub, a perennial loser. He fits right in with the team’s overall philosophy.

  5. dsmith - Nov 12, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    You cna’t be serious? Unless you have a few extra viles of Thorazine and a straight jacket, don’t bring this freak anywhere near my city. He will kill someone someday and somebody will write that he is misunderstood. He is a violent man that tried to attack is then general manager. Misunderstood? He is understood just fine, a violent thug that needs Florida Tire Tool shoved up his ***.

  6. Old Gator - Nov 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    You’re not “buying a lemon,” you are sucking dry an entire little yellow lemon-shaped plastic container of reconstituted lemon juice. Aside from sucking your entire face into your mouth, the consequences of ingesting that much lemon make the Aztec two-step look like the Tennessee Waltz. Bradley should go to the Borg. They’re already flush.

  7. sidewaze - Nov 12, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    He’s so Cubbie. Poor Lou, all those years in the game and he’s stuck with this idiot. And Hendry, baseball genius that he is, signed him. The Cubs aren’t a baseball team, they’re a sit-com.

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