Cubs Still Trying to Deal Milton Bradley & Add Center Fielder

Posted on 15 December 2009 by Lou

Cubs Rockies Baseball

While other teams are wheeling and dealing this winter, GM Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs are stuck in the mud.  Hendry is still trying to make a Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell deal happen with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Each of Bradley and Burrell are owed $9 million during the 2010 MLB campaign.  But Bradley is still owed $11 million in 2011 and the Rays want the Cubs to pick up some of that tab for making a dumb contract with Bradley.  The deal still could happen, but it will all depend upon what the Ricketts Family is willing to eat for the disgruntled outfielder.  If the deal does go through, then Hendry and the Cubs would likely try to move Burrell somewhere else, and would presumably have to eat a portion of the $9 million owed to Burrell for this season.

Assuming of all this happens, Hendry and the Cubs still need to find a starting center fielder.  The New York Yankees already traded for Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers.  The Boston Red Sox beat Hendry and the Cubs to the punch on free agent Mike Cameron, signing him to a 2-year $15.5 million deal (seems a bit much for a 37-year old center fielder to play left field).  There are still a few options out there.  Tops on the list is Marlon Byrd from the Texas Rangers.  Byrd is 32 and has flourished under hitting coach Rudy Jarmillo who is now the Cubs hitting coach.  Byrd is averaging a .295 batting average in his last 3 seasons in Texas, but has plenty of suitors competing for his services.  If it gets into a bidding war, the Cubs will likely lose out on the outfielder.  After Byrd, there are less attractive options like Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik.  If the Cubs don’t get Byrd, I would rather have them try to re-sign Reed Johnson instead of taking a shot on Ankiel or Podsednik.

Guess we’ll see what happens.  It is definitely frustrating watching all of these top notch teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies continue to improve while the Cubs sit idly by hoping that someone pecks them on a cheek and gives them a bone.  It is pretty pathetic.  The Ricketts Family and Manager Lou Pinella must be seething at the position Hendry has left the Cubs in this off-season and the off-season for the next couple of years with the Bad Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley contracts still crushing the books…

Cubs Rockies Baseball

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