Jake Peavy to the Cubs isn’t the only story gripping Cubs fans on the north side of Chicago.
Cubs fans are also eagerly awaiting the left-handed hitter that Cubs GM Jim Hendry is expected to sign or trade for this off-season. Several names have been mentioned, but right now, the Cubs are currently focused on free agent right fielder Milton Bradley.
Bradley is an interesting choice. He has a .280 career batting average. At the age of 30, he had his best year as a pro this past season – hitting .321 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI’s. Bradley also had the best on-base percentage in baseball in 2008 – .436 with 80 walks.
But injuries and personality have always been Bradley’s biggest issues. He has played in over 100 games in a season only 3 times in his 9-year career and he has had over 400 at-bats in only 2 seasons as a pro. In addition, he has had run-ins with players, managers and fans throughout his career, calling into question his ability to control his emotions and focus on the task at hand – playing baseball.
Some view the addition of Bradly as a positive influence in the locker room – ready to liven things up a little. But with the loss of Kerry Wood to free agency and the potential loss of Mark DeRosa in a trade for Jake Peavy, the Cubs and Lou Pinella will need to make sure they don’t lose that camaraderie in the clubhouse (a la the Sammy Sosa years). One would think that Pinella and Bradley could clash from time to time, and the question is, how will the rest of the team react. Since the Michael Barrett/Carlos Zambrano fight at the beginning of the 2007 season and Barrett’s subsequent trade to the San Diego Padres, the Cubs clubhouse has been as loose and fun as it has ever been (except for a few days in October in each of the last 2 years). With the departure of a Wood and a DeRosa and the addition of a Bradley shake up that positive atmosphere in a negative way? Is Bradley too old or injury prone? Only time will tell.
No word yet on the Peavy front, although ESPN Radio 1000’s Bruce Levine reported that a potential trade with the Padres and Phillies is as close as it has ever been. Stay tuned and bookmark MyCubsToday right now!