As the post-season winds down, the Milton Bradley rumors will continue to intensify. The Chicago Cubs, no doubt, want to move him before the meaty part of the free agent period. Having him moved will allow the team to know where it stands, positionally and financially.
To that end, another random Bradley rumor has popped up, as discussed by Rob Neyer. It’s a basic Bradley for the Tigers’ Jeremy Bonderman, and it is hard to tell if it’s a real rumor, or just a writer’s flight of fancy. Either way, it does make some sense. The Tigers are looking to jettison Magglio Ordonez, and could use a replacement bat – be it for the outfield or for DH.
For their part, the Cubs would not blanch at adding another starting pitcher. Rich Harden is almost certain to depart, and although he was great this year, there is no guaranty that Randy Wells is the real deal.
There’s no discussion of money here, but the Cubs may not have to eat a portion to make a move like this. Consider: Bradley is due $21 million over the next two years, but Bonderman is due a very healthy $12.5 million next year, before hitting free agency in 2011.
But would the Cubs want Bonderman, specifically? He has sprinkled his career with alternately good and crappy seasons, and didn’t pitch much at all this season. His career ERA+ of 93 puts him below average, although his ugly 4.78 career ERA would probably shrink to the low fours in the National League.
In the end, and this is not something I would have fathomed saying just a few weeks ago, the Cubs can do better.