Peanut butter and jelly. Ham an eggs. Eggnog and rum.
All of those thing go together almost as well as a deal in baseball where teams swap a couple of players with big-time salaries around their necks. Just such a deal was worked out on Friday as the Mariners sent their deadweight – Carlos Silva – to the Cubs in exchange for volatile outfielder Milton Bradley. I never thought I would write the following sentence, but here it is – I love the Milton Bradley portion of this deal. I know, shocking huh? Let’s break down each guy.
The Contract: Bradley has 2-years and $21 million left on his contract. The Mariners will be Bradley’s eighth team.
The Quote: “Obviously, in this case, it did not work out how we planned, which was also the reason I sent Milton home,” Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry said. “(That’s) not going to be tolerated, to treat our fans, teammates and members of the media the way he did.”
The Numbers: I’ve written these facts time after time, but here they are again. Despite all his skills, Bradley has:
* One 20-HR season (22 in 2008).
* One 70-RBI season (77 in 2008).
* One 75-run season (78 in 2008).
* One season of more than 415 ABs – one (516 in 2004).
Doesn’t matter how talented you are skill wise if you can’t stay on the field long enough to flash those skills. To further illustrate this fact, here is a look at his pace, per 162 games, in his career:
That is certainly a fine season, but it’s no better than the kind of work the world witnessed from Mark DeRosa last year (.250-23-78-78-3) and no one was overly excited by that performance were they?
The Fit: The Mariners could certainly use a middle of the order presence as they have yet to bring back Russell Branyan or sign a big bat like Jason Bay, so the addition of Bradley is a good one. Still, if the Mariners are expecting on Bradley making it out onto the field more than 120 times in 2010 they are deluding themselves.
The contract: Silva has 2-years and $25 million left on his contract. The Mariners will send $9 million to the Cubs to help cover the cost of this contract.
The Numbers: Three times Silva has won at least 11 games, and in 2005 he posted a 3.44 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Alas, things haven’t gone well, at all, since that point. In 2006, Silva went 11-15 with a 5.94 ERA, he followed that up with a 13-14 mark with a 4.19 ERA in ’07, and then things really got ugly. Silva, in his first year in Seattle, tossed 153.1 innings, won four games against 15 loses, and posted a 6.46 ERA. Things got even worse in 2009 as injuries limited him to 30.1 innings and a 8.60 ERA. Think of it this way. Over his last 34 starts, a full season of work for a top of the rotation arm, Silva has gone 5-18 with a 6.81 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and a 1.84 K/BB rate. If you posted numbers like that in high school you’d be on the bench, but in the world of major league baseball you make millions for it.
The Fit: Terrible. Silva first has to prove he is healthy, and even if he does that the fact is that he simply isn’t anything better than an average major league pitcher – at best. With an inability to strike anyone out (3.78 K/9 in his career), and a HR/9 rate of 1.13 (far too high for a guy who will try to pitch in the Windy City), this doesn’t look like a good fit at all.
Again, no matter how much I dislike Bradley and his tired, worn out act, there is only one player here who could be an All-Star in 2010. Furthermore, there is only one player here who appears to even have a chance to be better than replacement level. I know the Cubs wanted to rid themselves of the headache that is Bradley, but they really, and I mean really, took a huge chance here in trading the talented Bradley for a guy who hasn’t resembled a big league pitcher since 2007, and even that is being kind.
By Ray Flowers