Increasingly, Milton Bradley trade rumors center on bad contracts coming back to the Chicago Cubs as opposed to the Cubs eating a bunch of Bradley’s contract. That is both good and bad: it could be better financially for the Cubs, and it could knock out two birds with one stone, depending on the player the Cubs get back.

But the bad: the Cubs would likely be getting back a player that no one else wants. Cue the latest rumor:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today joined Dave Kaplan Monday night to discuss Chicago baseball. Nightengale thinks the Cubs will have to eat $15-$16 million of the more than $21 million owed to Milton Bradley in order to move him this winter. Nightengale thinks Bradley will end up back in Texas or possibly in Tampa … but mentioned a little tidbit.

According to Bob Nightengale, the Cubs spoke with the Arizona Diamondbacks about an Eric Byrnes for Milton Bradley swap. Byrnes is owed $22 million ($11 million in 2010 and $11 million in 2011) on the contract extension he signed in August of 2007. Nightengale indicated the D’Backs would be interested in Bradley if the Cubs took Byrnes in return.

Contrary to the statement above, Byrnes has one year left on his deal for $11 million, so the money makes sense in this kind of swap. But Byrnes, who will be 34 next year, has put in back to back GODAWFUL seasons: hitting around .215, with a .270 OBP and a .380 SLG. Those are bad numbers. Those are the numbers of a guy you would never, EVER want to see play.

Let’s hope when the Cubs spoke to the Diamondbacks about Byrnes, it was initiated by the D-backs, and de-initiated rapidly by the Cubs.

  • Scarey

    I really wouldn’t mind this swap for two reasons.

    1. This would free up some financial responsibility for 2011.
    2. The Cubs could probably squeeze a decent prospect out of the swap as well.

    The Cubs would basically have a very expensive and slightly less productive Reed Johnson. In fact, he wouldn’t be a bad platoon partner to pair with Granderson if the Cubs somehow swing a deal for him. It would just be the most expensive platoon ever in terms of production per dollar.

    • Ace

      Platoon partner I could maybe get on board with, assuming the Cubs absorbed no money of Bradley’s deal, and assuming the Cubs then actually get Granderson. Can Byrnes still play CF?

  • Jacob

    If they could trade Milton for this guy and take no money on Milton’s contract, do it. Then release him. Or trade for a player to be named later if anyone takes him. But it would be cheaper to just release him than it would Milton.

    • Ace

      If it were that simple, then the D-Backs wouldn’t want to do that deal. They’d just release Byrnes, themselves.