Sure, the offseason isn’t here yet, but it’s never too early for crazy Chicago Cubs rumors. And that is part of our credo here at Bleacher Nation: we will bring you every Cubs rumor we hear, no matter how … out there.

This one is probably best filed in the “out there” category. But still, interesting.

The Mets and Cubs have a lot in common. They have the top two payrolls in the NL, and were extreme underachievers this season. Can they help each other?

Milton Bradley was suspended by the Cubs for the rest of the season for, well, being Milton Bradley, which is to say terminally unhappy and an endless distraction. The Cubs badly want to get out of the two years at $21 million left on his contract.

If you were the Mets would you trade Oliver Perez (two years at $24 million left after this season) for Bradley? Or would you accept Bradley as part of a trade if it lowered the cost in prospects for Carlos Zambrano, potentially the No. 2 starter the Mets need so badly. I wonder if there is a way to expand this into an all-problem deal. The Cubs, for example, have said they will not bat Alfonso Soriano leadoff moving forward and they could use a second baseman. Luis Castillo and his two years at $12 million left anyone? New York Post Hardball.

The mere fact that there are fan bases out there that might consider being interested in Milton Bradley – at whatever cost – is exciting.

A couple quick, arguably tangential things up front:

1) Is it really even conceivable that the Cubs could move Bradley and Zambrano in one deal? That’s nearly $30 million in payroll for just 2010.

2) Taking bad contracts in return for moving guys like Bradley is a given. But the Cubs would absolutely not have to take a bad contract in order to move Carlos Zambrano. And I don’t think Joel Sherman, who wrote that blurb, disagrees. He just suggests that the Mets could accept Bradley if it meant they get Zambrano at a reduced cost. Interesting to be sure.

The thrust of this rumor, however, is the Milton Bradley for Oliver Perez swap. I doubt many Cubs fans would have too much interest in Perez, but assuming the Cubs let Rich Harden walk in free agency, it is not inconceivable that they could be in the market to add a pitcher externally instead of allowing a young starter to win the open spot in the rotation. The Bradley and Perez contracts are a near match, but how about the performance? Perez has been pitching for seven years, but has been good for just two of them. Bradley, on the other hand, has been good almost every year he’s played.

So is the value of unloading Bradley’s baggage worth the risk that Perez is the mediocre/unpredictable pitcher that he appears to be?

One thing is for sure: when it comes to dealing Bradley, the Cubs will not be able to be choosers.

  • Butcher

    I hate to say it, but given the circumstances, a Bradley/Perez trade might be the best we can do.

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  • george gollias

    Lifer cub fan and finally came to the realization of what exactly the cubs are so void of. I used to think it was talent in certain areas and then started to appreciate more the characteristics of the game that seem to win out, or at least go deep into the playoffs. The cubs have been missing this for decades. Winning and getting into the playoffs has become more likely in today’s game and format so we have had flashes of good luck and indeed some talent. But truth be told…when is the last time a cub team took the field and exhibited any INTENSITY? Any? Sure we had home run hitters by the dozens. We have had some brilliant pitchers, some now in the Hall. We have had great fielders, though not lately but in recent history. We have had colorful, personable players. But no player has exhibited the intensity that is easy to spot in the playoffs. Last couple of years when we made the playoffs we looked like scared deer. Leadership can be modeled by example, though truly the cubs lack there as well. But the lack of intensity from the pitchers to the batters and all the players playing defense is invisible. You can lead, and exhibit your talent without flamboyance but you can not hide intensity. On the bases, the mound, running hard and sliding harder. Aside of the long ball, some recent great pitching performances, and a few outstanding catches, the cubs have put their fans to sleep all too often and Jim it is time for change in more than politics! You have brought talent here and adding wins too but as far as building a team that has shown it can play with intensity…you haven’t grabbed that ring yet. I think that if you do…you’ll be able to grab the REAL RING for all of us in Chicago and it has been too too long of a wait!
    Thank you. G.S.Gollas Chicago. And leave Zambrano alone. Everyone spoiled the kid and he has to learn is all. He has his better days ahead of him and his passion focused will positively help the cause!

    • Ace

      The Cubs have absolutely lacked intensity for years. Since 2003, perhaps. I think part of that is that intensity tends to come with youth, and the Cubs have been a relatively older team for a while.

      That said, it’s hard to quantify “intensity.” It’s hard to know whether it really leads to championships. Are the Phillies really that intense? I’m not sure the answer.