Cubs Didn’t Look At Milton Bradley’s Intangibles; Lesson Learned

An article by posted on September 21, 2009

I haven’t really had a lot of nice things to say about the four-year deal the Mets gave Luis Castillo just before the start of the 2008 season. It turns out that he was injured or in pain for most of the season in the first year of that contract, but this year Castillo has made the deal much more palatable after delivering an unexpected solid year at the plate and in the field.  Suddenly, with just two years remaining for a total of $12 million dollars, the contract doesn’t look as terrible as it once did.

In comparison, the Cubs thought they got themselves a steal when they signed Milton Bradley to a three-year $30 million dollar deal last winter. Bradley has long been the darling of the sabermetric crowd, but all production aside, Bradley’s “intangibles” were chock full of seedy and undesirable flaws and character traits. Yesterday, the Cubs decided to cut his cancerous presence from the rest of the team and eat the remaining $21 million left on his contract. He will undoubtedly be traded or released after the season.

The Cubs were expected to win the division this season. They were one player away in their minds, and they thought they got that player in Milton Bradley. Unfortunately for the Cubs, instead of a signing a player with a winning attitude they made the mistake of ignoring things like heart, determination, leadership and grit. The GM made the mistake of believing those things were non-existent and now he must pay the price. Lesson learned.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have suspended disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley for the rest of the season.

Bradley, who signed a three-year, $30MM contract last winter, took shots at the Cubs organization during an interview with the Arlington Heights Daily Herald on Saturday, and has battled with fans on the North Side of Chicago for much of the season. GM Jim Hendry is expected to seek out a trade partner for the 31-year-old right fielder this offseason.

“The last few days became too much for me to tolerate,” Hendry said Sunday, fed up with the player’s attitude toward the fans and media in Chicago. “I’m certainly not going to let our great fans become excuses.”

Bradley’s trade value has undoubtedly taken a hit because of this mess. And it’s not like he was hitting the cover off the ball. Through 124 games this season, he had a .257/.378/.397 batting line, 12 home runs and 40 RBI.

It’s hard to believe that some fans have considered Milton Bradley a prime target for the Mets for 2010. Really?

I know things are bad in Metsdom these days, but I didn’t realize we were so freakin’ hard up.

Bradley is the polar opposite of Jeff Francoeur. He makes some Mets fans drool because they believe that intangibles dont really exist, and find it hard to ignore Bradley’s career OBP?

As for me, I’ll take the guy with the crappy OBP and the winning attitude over Bradley anyday. I bet if you gave that choice to Cubs manager Lou Piniella and GM Jim Hendry, you’d get the same answer.

You can pretend that heart, grit, determination, leadership and a positive attitude don’t mean anything. But then a guy like Milton Bradley comes along and blows that theory out of the water.

Bradley will now be looking for his eight team to play for in eight years. I hope he doesn’t look toward the northeast.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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