A new day and a new Milton Bradley trade rumor. Today’s version has the Chicago Cubs dealing Milton Bradley to the Blue Jays, who would send Lyle Overbay to the New York Mets, who would send second baseman Luis Castillo to the Cubs.
The teams would have to work out the money part of the deal, but this is one of those rare three-team trades that actually makes some sense.
The three-team possibility, according to one source, has “some legs, but not much.” The Jays are opposed to the deal, one source says — perhaps because new GM Alex Anthopolous does not want a trade for Bradley to be his first major move.
Still, the mere discussion of Bradley, Castillo and Overbay between the clubs offers insight into each team’s thinking.
Castillo, who has two years left on his contract at $6 million per season, would add speed and on-base skills to the top of the Cubs’ lineup, but is not an ideal fit. The Cubs eventually want to move Ryan Theriot to second to make room for top shortstop prospect Starlin Castro. FOX Sports on MSN.
Castillo brings a great deal to the table that the Cubs are looking for – leadoff possibility from second base – but there are drawbacks. Castillo will be 34 next year, and has a history of leg problems. In fact, he hasn’t played more than 142 games in a season in six years. Perhaps, though, that wouldn’t be a problem with the Cubs who could spell him occasionally against lefties by starting Jeff Baker.
Castillo can still hit for average, hitting .302 last year, and he can still get on base. Over his career, he has a very nice .369 OBP. But Castillo, never with much pop in his bat, is increasingly becoming a singles-only hitter. It is not as though you need a guy like Castillo to be smacking bombs, but extra-base hits should be an expectation of any table setter. Castillo, in 142 games last year, had just 16 TOTAL extra-base hits. And he did not make up for it on the basepaths – he stole just 20 bases.
In the end, this would not be a horrible move for the Cubs, particularly if they end up with Castillo’s contract (two years and $6 million per), but don’t have to eat any of Bradley’s.