The Cubs can’t get offense out of Alfonso Soriano (hitting .214 through nine games this year, not to mention the .241 average that he boasted in 2009). Defense is out of the question (two embarrassing outfield gaffs on Wednesday alone, causing Lou to yank him late in the game; he led all leftfielders in the Majors in errors in 2009).
Will Chicago eat his $18 million a year contract and release him before it expires after the 2014 season? GM Jim Hendry, speaking to MLB Network Radio this morning, says “no.” Due to the size of the contract, a trade is out of the question….and who would want Soriano anyway?
Cubs fans thought all of the same things about Milton Bradley last year. But, lo and behold, the Seattle Mariners came calling…and so far, that trade looks to have worked out for both sides (Milton’s production is up in Seattle, although his attitude is unchanged; Carlos Silva has been outpitching Carlos Zambrano on the Northside).
If no one comes a-calling for Soriano, though, the Cubs should drop him from the 25-man roster…but not release him from his contract. I know there are clauses in MLB contracts which would prevent them from doing this, but I’m sure the Cubs could find some way around them for the amount of money involved.
Jim Hendry should keep him around and make him work off that $18 million a year as a batboy. Sure, he Soriano wouldn’t hustle to fetch the bats, which would slow games down and make umpire Joe West angry. I could also see fans booing Soriano for every bat that he drops on his way back to the dugout… Actually, that might not work out after all. Whatever happens, don’t expect the Cubs to be content with letting their one-time franchise player drive his Bentley off into the sunset with over $60 million left on his contract.
Who didn’t see this coming? Not even halfway through the first year of a 3-year, $30-million contract with the Cubs, the beleaguered Milton Bradley finally came face-to-face with Sweet Lou.
“Words were exchanged” in the purely verbal altercation that followed Bradley’s latest temper trantrum in the dugout. Sweet Lou sent Bradley home for the day.
“It’s something I promise won’t be happening again,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said of Bradley’s tantrum to MLB.com. Without recounting Bradley’s extensive history of outbursts, tantrums, ejections, mysterious injuries, et al, suffice to say that this will be happening again.
Bradley’s teammates are also at the ends of their respective ropes with Bradley. Alfonso Soriano on Bradley: “We don’t need him. We have 25 players, we have to be on the same page. If he’s not 100 percent to help the team to win, we don’t need him. If he’s 100 percent and he comes and wants to play, he’s more than welcome.”
Milton Bradley has never been 100 percent anything in his big league career. The only question now is if there is how much of Bradley’s contract the Cubs will have to eat when they cut ties with him for good.
ESPN needs to begin airing this one on ESPN Classic ASAP–this is Cubs baseball. The Cubs’ 11th loss in their past 15 games is an early contender for “game of the year” for a team that’s slipping from first (in ’08) to worst (in ’09) in the NL Central.
Soriano homers…and then goes cold for his remaining five at-bats?
Marmol enters in a key spot and walks two?
A no-hitter through seven turns into a loss?
Kevin Gregg turns in his best LaTroy Hawkins impression?
Pitching to the reigning NL Batting Champion with first base open?
In a post-game interview, Wells said, “It stinks not getting the win. But stuff happens. That’s baseball.” No, Wells, that’s not baseball–that’s Cubs’ baseball.
This time, his “wife was in labor”. Uh huh. Yeah. How many times will we hear this particular excuse for sitting out this season?*
* The correct answer is: Twelve times.
For the second time this spring, Milton Bradley sat out due to
hypochondria “the flu”. He was also sidelined with “tightness in his thigh” for the first few games this spring.
Bradley, who missed 36 games last season for the Rangers due to “days he didn’t feel 100%”, has played in only 1/3rd of the Cubs’ spring training games to date. This isn’t a good omen for Chicago fans.
Of course, the upside is tremendous: Bradley hit a career-high .321 in the games he did play last year. He plays hard,” Rich Harden said. “If I’m on the mound, I definitely want a guy like that playing behind me.” (That’s if he decides he feels well enough to play when you’re pitching, Rich.)
Cubs GM Jim Hendry said, “We’re not expecting him to play 150 games. We have other good outfielders.” If Bradley continues being Bradley, let’s hope that Hendry’s not expecting him to even play 100 games in the outfield–that’s a mark that he reached only once in his career, in 2004 with the Dodgers.