Posted by Wally Londo on 21st September 2009
That post title isn’t entirely accurate because sometimes, he says things like “I’m Milton Bradley, you know what I’m saying.” And sometimes he also does really questionable things…
But for the Marlins purposes, Bradley makes way too much sense for next season. He’s on his way out in Chicago, as they’ve suspended him for the season. Can’t see any way he won’t be traded, and the Cubs can’t get a ton back for him now that they have no leverage. Why shouldn’t the Marlins make a run at him? I mean, I know he’s a “malcontent” and all that, but I don’t think he’s as bad as his reputation.
He obviously doesn’t handle his anger in stressful situations well, as shown with the bottle incident in LA in 2004 and with the ump in 2008 (who reportedly called him a “piece of shit”), but it’s not like he’s going after people for no reason. He’s created a self perpetuating cycle where people know they can get to him easily, so they try to get under his skin. I would guess he takes more shit than most players simply because he doesn’t handle it well.
But playing in Landshark Stadium mitigates those types of circumstances at least somewhat. Not a lot of pressure here, no media types needling him, and no fans shouting whatever the Cubs fans were shouting (you have to assume there were more than a few racial slurs from everything I’ve heard about the bleachers at Wrigley).
I think it makes a lot of sense for the Marlins to make a run at him.
My perfect world scenario is bring him in and bring Nick Johnson back. That gives you 4 legitimate .375+ OBP guys in your lineup. In this scenario you are trading Uggla, Cantu and Hermida and getting the Cubs to cover most of his 2010 salary (though none of his 2011 salary, which creates some obvious potential problems down the road).
Salary projection for 2010:
C John Baker $415,000 (.770 OPS)
1B Nick Johnson $5,500,000 (.840)
2B Emilio Bonifacio $415,000 (.630)
3B Chris Coghlan $405,000 (.780)
SS Hanley Ramirez $7,000,000 (.970)
LF Milton Bradley $2,000,000 (.850)
CF Cameron Maybin $405,000 (.750)
RF Cody Ross $4,200,000 (.790)
B Gaby Sanchez $415,000
B Wes Helms $950,000
B Ronny Paulino $880,000
B “Veteran 1B/LF Bat” $750,000
B De Aza/Jai/Raynor $405,000
SP Josh Johnson $5,500,000
SP Ricky Nolasco $4,250,000
SP Andrew Miller $2,000,000
SP Chris Volstad $415,000
SP Sean West $415,000
RP Matt Lindstrom $1,600,000
RP Reynel Pinto $850,000
RP Dan Meyer $415,000
RP Rick Vanden Hurk $415,000
RP Brian Sanches $415,000
RP Burke Badenhop $415,000
RP Tim Wood $405,000
I don’t think any of those projections for the batters are unreasonable at all. That gives you a lineup with one major hole that can, conceivably be replaced in house if they want to take a chance with Gaby at 3rd and shift Coghlan to 2nd (unlikely). Otherwise, that looks like a pretty solid lineup top to bottom. I think you’ve got to expect that Milton and NJ are only going to get about 450 PAs a piece, so you basically need to hope BC can do a decent imitation of a starting major leaguer when Bradley goes down and hope the “Ross Gload” of 2010 can do the same.
With one absolute rock (Hanley) and two pretty good players who load up on OBP at premium offensive positions (Bradley and NJ) and a bunch of average or better for their position guys (Bake, CC, Cody), you can take the chance with actually going defense first at 2nd with Boner. It might hurt your offense (Well, it will hurt your offense), but then you’re going to be above average defensively everywhere on the infield except 3rd, where CC is going to be at least average with the bat and with the potential for more of what we’re getting this season rather than the slight step back I expect.
I like that team so much that we really don’t need to even worry about treading water next year. That could be a playoff team.
And actually, now that I think about it, Logan Morrison is probably ready to be cool against RHP right now at the major league level. So you use him to spell Bradley and NJ 3 times a week against RHP (Bradley doesn’t hit RHP as well). You get his feet wet at this level and hey, if he breaks out and starts bombing people you’ve got fantastic injury insurance if Bradley or NJ goes down for an extended period of time.
I’ve said it a couple of times already, but trying to buy low on Bradley and sending them some kind of package of B prospects makes so much sense for the Marlins that I’m going to be sad when he’s playing for, like, Philadelphia next year.