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Cubs Finally Dump Bradley

By Garrett Monaghan

The Cubs finally succeeded in dumping problematic outfielder Milton Bradley today, sending the outfielder to Seattle for pitcher Carlos Silva and $9 million. The deal finally clears the way for the Cubs to pursue another outfielder, and possibly another relief pitcher.

I'm delighted that Milton Bradley is finally gone. Delighted. Really. Couldn't be happier. If ever a guy deserved the title of "Plague on the Franchise," it's Milton. I won't bother wishing him luck in Seattle, since I highly doubt he'll have any. I imagine it's merely a tossup as to whether Milton starts his tenure in Seattle by insulting Ichiro, Starbucks, Sushi, Microsoft, Mount St. Helens, or Washington Apples. Seattle has made some outstanding moves this off-season, but I seriously doubt that any team with Bradley on its roster is playoff bound.

That said, it's pretty hard to get too excited about this deal if you're the Cubs.

Carlos Silva's only real specialty has been in giving up almost as many home runs as walks on an annual basis. He's a soft-tossing control specialist who, prior to 2008, was good for 180-200 innings per year. Since then, Silva's had some health issues and has seen his ERA skyrocket. In all likelihood, he'll compete for the #5 spot in the rotation, though my guess is that he'll eventually wind up in the bullpen.

What really concerns me about Silva is that he's surrendered a colossal number of home runs while pitching in two excellent pitchers parks. If he stays healthy and the Cubs give him 30+ starts a year, we may see some Jose Lima-esque numbers out of him. Of course, it's highly doubtful that anyone is really going to care too much what Carlos Silva does on the mound. At the moment, his best attribute is that he's not Milton Bradley.

The other bit of good news out of the deal is the $9 million the Cubs get from Seattle. $3 million of goes to making up the difference in the two contracts, so the Cubs basically come out $6 million ahead on the deal. With any luck, they'll be able to put the money to good use shoring up the bullpen and potentially adding an outfielder. As I said in my last post, I'd much rather see the Cubs solve their outfield issues in-house rather than throwing more money at Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, or Marlon Byrd. That said, I don't have my hopes up on that front.

I hope Jim Hendry proves me wrong, but I suspect that by the end of the week, we'll have acquired another 30-something, overpaid, defensively inept center fielder who'll manage to set the franchise back another couple years. Let's just hope Hendry has enough sense to learn from his lessons.

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