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A Change Will Do You Good?

By Chris Birge
Sometimes, change can be beneficial to two parties. Milton Bradley may not be playing extremely well in Seattle. The explanation for this could simply be that he’s not that good a player anymore. At the very least, he seems content not to criticize anyone in Seattle for the time being, which means that baseball fans get a much needed respite from listening to Bradley say things that, even if they are true, make a mockery of the game. When considering this trade it does not necessarily matter if the Mariners win with Bradley to a Cubs fan, or if the Cubs win with Silva to a Mariners fan. It seems like a foregone conclusion that neither team was going to win with the player they previously had.
Having said all this, it did seem like an interesting exercise to examine the reasons Seattle had for making this trade. The following is an excerpt from a blog by Larry Stone for
“I understand why the Mariners are making this move -- Silva has absolutely no role on the team any more after two disastrous seasons and little hope for a turnaround. He went 4-15, 6.46 in 2008, and was 1-3, 8.60 in eight games in '09, spending most of the year on the disabled list. Bradley, at least, is healthy and can be very productive when he's focused and happy. They have faith that manager Don Wakamatsu will be able to foster a good relationship with Bradley, as Texas manager Ron Washington did, and that he will contribute to an offense that needs what Bradley, at peak performance, can offer.
Worst case, they can always cut him -- the M's probably weren't going to get anything from Silva anyway, so that money was lost regardless.”
So, this trade didn’t do a whole lot for either team financially. Bradley, obviously, did not care for the large media market of Chicago. The Mariners took a risk that he would be happier in a small market. There was some history to support this based on what he had done in Texas, but, the theory fails to account for the possibility of Bradley simply having diminishing skills.
Silva is a slightly different case. During a game last year, Bob Brenly was talking about some of the difficulties of playing in Seattle. It is a small market on the west coast (if an east coast bias still exists in any sport, it’s baseball). Brenly also made the point that even the flights to face divisional opponents are extremely long when coming from Seattle. All of this probably takes a certain mentality. One that is probably more common in veterans than in young players. Silva seems reminiscent of the two other pitchers named Carlos the Cubs have. They all seem to like the big stage. At this point, the team is in desperate need of someone to step up and embrace the pressure as a starting pitcher. If this is going to turn around, Silva had better be a big time performer.

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