Yes, it’s time for another obsessive watch. Harden’s shoulder largely held up this year, the Cubs’ new owner is all but in place, and Jake Peavy ended up on the other side of town.

So let’s obsess about something we’ve already obsessed about for months: Milton Bradley. As the Cubs just finished a four-game set with the Giants, it is appropriate to speculate: might they be interested in Bradley? And might they be interested in dumping an equally unattractive contract like, say, Aaron Rowand?

[B]oth GMs are motivated sellers, and a Rowand-Bradley deal would not be out of the realm of possibility. Rowand has three years and $36 million left on his contract, while Bradley has $21 million and two years left on his deal. Obviously more players would have to be involved, unless the Giants were willing to pay around half of the $15 million difference in the contracts.

Rowand hit .309 with 27 home runs and 89 RBIs with Philadelphia in 2007, so it’s hard to believe he’s cooked already. But it’s a bad fit for him in spacious AT&T Park, and Rowand could be revived in his favorite city, perhaps even reunited with his old friend, Reed Johnson, who is a free agent.

It’s just one of many scenarios that will be speculated about as the Bradley Watch moves into high gear after the season next week. Hardball.

Calling things “___ Watch,” are we now, Paul Sullivan? I see how it is.

Rowand is a solid defensive outfielder, but one whose offensive prowess always seemed a mirage to me. That 2007 season, which Sullivan cites as proof that Rowand still has some top level offensive ability, seems more of an anomaly than anything else. It came during a five-year stretch where Rowand never topped .750 in the OPS department, except that 2007 season.

Worse, he played his home games at a very hitter friendly park in Philadelphia that year, and predictably, his numbers were much better at home than on the road.

If you held a gun to my head and forced me to choose between these two guys and their contracts, I think I might just see how fast I could run. Or see if my karate lessons are paying off. I’m a maroon belt.

  • Aisle 424

    I can’t tell you how much I hate this idea. If it is possible, Rowand is more overrated than Mark DeRosa, and would anyone seriously pay Mark DeRosa $40 million over the next 3 years? That’s what Rowand is going to to cost for production that isn’t out of the realm of possibility from any combination of the AAA brigade the Cubs already have in Fuld/Fox/Baker that would cost less than $1.5 million next year (combined).

    • Ace

      Yup. If this is all dumping Bradley can do for the Cubs… I might think the unthinkable…

  • Scarey

    Did you know?

    Aaron Rowand has a -24 plus/minus as a center fielder between the years of 2006-2008? That’s good for 4th worst in all of MLB!

    • Ace

      WOW! That is surprisingly bad.

  • Lok

    I’d take him. At least he’s not a head-case freak who thinks the organization is out to get him. Sorry, but Bradley could die in a car wreck and I wouldn’t lose any sleep. And before he cites me as being racist like the rest of Chicago’s fans (his words…), he brought this on himself by his actions this year.

    Also, I have yet to see Rowand throw the ball into the stands with two outs. I lived in Philly when he played there. He was a class act who played hard every play. I can’t say the same for Bradley.

  • Butcher

    Big fat pass on Rowand.

  • Gcheezpuff

    If the cubs can pick up a descent prospect or cash to even out the contract $$ differences I think this should be a no brainer for Hendry. The Cubs lack a center fielder, but have plenty of guys capable of playing a corner OF spot and already have the money committed to Bradley. Bradley definitely isn’t coming back and you’re gonna have to eat most of the contract if you send him anywhere else and most likely aren’t gonna get much in return. At least with the return of Rowand you fill a much needed spot in CF and can move Fukudome back to RF. You’ll end up with some descent defense in OF and rid yourself of Bradley and basically spend the same money as long as it is worked into the trade.

    • Ace

      Supposedly – ask Scarey – Rowand is now a below average defensive center fielder.