Yes, Milton Bradley is still a Chicago Cub. For now.
In case you missed any of the very swift-moving rumor action from last night, here’s a rundown of how things have developed, and where things stand:
One source said the two-team deal was ”three-quarters” done by late in the day Tuesday and involved the Cubs receiving another heavy-contract player, who would then be flipped to a third team.
The source would not reveal the ”surprise” team but eliminated Tampa Bay and Texas as destination teams after weeks of that pair being linked to Bradley and the Cubs closer than any others.
General manager Jim Hendry wouldn’t talk specifically about the progress of Bradley talks but didn’t rule out making a move by late Tuesday night.
”I’m always hopeful,” he said. ”Hopefully, [at this point in the winter] you’re pinpointing areas where you feel like you can keep moving toward a possible finish line. … Between now and [the end of the meetings] Thursday, I think we’ve got it to the situation where we’re only going to be meeting with the people we feel we’re going to have a conclusion with.”
One source said the Cubs were ready to pull the trigger on a deal as soon as the other party was.
As for the identity of the mystery AL destination, sources from those teams and the Cubs eliminated all but a few teams — among the intriguing possibilities: Detroit (for former Cubs prospect Dontrelle Willis and the one-year, $12 million left on his contract?), Kansas City (Jose Guillen and his one-year, $12 million contract?) and Toronto (but definitely not for Vernon Wells’ five years and gazillion dollars).
At least one media report late Tuesday refuted any interest by Kansas City. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
The one part of this that seems hard to imagine: that no word would have leaked from the other team that they were looking to move X big contract player – particularly when you consider the Cubs must be simultaneously working the phones to find a taker for X big contract player. Nowadays, when Jim Hendry lifts his leg to fart there’s a tweet (both from betwixed his legs and on Twitter).
Things could go down today, but Thursday may be a more realistic conclusion date.