This post is in response to a comment on my last Base Hits post from Crawdaddy. I started to answer it in the comments but it ended up being long. So here's a short post. The original question:
So why does (Milton) Bradley make sense?
I am not advocating the acquisition of Bradley nor making the case that it's likely but here's why I think Bradley makes sense:
1. Bradley is an AL Player - Bradley must DH to stay healthy and productive. That takes NL teams off the trade market, limiting the Cubs' trade partners and leverage.
2. The Cubs are Desperate - The Cubs have stated publicly (and stupidly) that Bradley will not be back in 2010. This has reduced the already dwindling number of suitors and depressed the price. The team that gets Bradley won't have to give up much and the Cubs may even have to pick up some of the salary to move him. Andy MacPhail loves two things: a desperate trade partner and a bargain.
3. The Orioles and the Cubs Have a Good Relationship - They have been involved in many trades over the years. Why wouldn't they hook up for this deal? Maybe they send Luke Scott in return and allow Bradley to be the full-time DH. And the Cubs would probably pick up some salary in the process.
3. Luke Scott May Be On His Way Out - If Scott isn't part of the Bradley trade, he may be headed elsewhere anyway.
As a guy headed to arbitration for the second time, coming off a $2.4 million salary for 2009, he’s at the point where his salary is too prohibitive for Baltimore to keep him around as a part-time player. He’ll probably make $4 million or so in 2010 – still less than what he’s worth, but too much for a team who isn’t sure where to put him.
If the Orioles prefer not to pay $4 million for Scott, he may be shipped out to a team that thinks they can contend. That leaves the DH spot wide open. If they're only paying $5-6 million of Bradley's salary, Bradley is a good bet to exceed Scott's production anyway.
So even if they sign free agents to fill first base and third base, the lineup could look something like this:
3B Atkins +
+ These are just players that have been linked to Baltimore...it'll be these guys or players like them...
It fits...if the Orioles move Scott. Not so much if Scott ends up staying.
OK, have at me...