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Bradley A Cub

The number of potential candidates for an already crowded Nats outfield dropped by one today, when Milton Bradley signed with the Chicago Cubs. According to reports, the deal is for three years and $30 million. You can read more here and here.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 5, 2009; 7:38 PM ET
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So that makes two players who turned down equal or greater deals from the Nats and signed elsewhere.

Not that I'm upset about Bradley. It does not auger well, however.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Augur, not auger. We're not plumbing here (although our season may be going down the crapper).

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

JiM: Fair analogy to the plumbing. As a fan, losing Teixiera to Boras' back-door play hurt, but losing Bradley feels like a blessing.

Here's hoping that the Nationals' have a couple of deals in their sights, with some of the OF glut (& the inevitable 'prospects') being moved for a reliable 1B, a LH-power hitter & one more SP.

Posted by: BinM | January 5, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

JiM (or others)-

A question to pose - Of the players currently on the 40-man roster, what is your 'bucket-list' (players that you would option/release/trade) to obtain another FA or player via trade to fill a need?

Posted by: BinM | January 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a complete headcase. The cubs are doomed to mediocrity.

Posted by: rsampson02 | January 5, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Clippard, Casto, O'Connor, Estrada, could all go tonight and nobody would even notice come spring training.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 5, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

JayB: Nice 'off-the-top' list - O'Conner (LHRP) & Casto (UTIL) might be out of options, but I've got no arguments otherwise. It opens four roster slots (critical) & about $1.5M in salary (not so much a worry).

Posted by: BinM | January 5, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

No Bradley is a good thing. Sign Dunn.

Was anyone watching MLB Network's Hot Stove tonight? Right before a commercial break, they did a tease showing Nationals Park and said that there was a report out of Washington that was going to have baseball fans jumping for joy. But then they never mentioned it further. Anyone have any idea what they were talking about?

Posted by: raymitten | January 5, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

These non-transactions might not bode well, but seriously, even if we did have the exact same team, we are already improved by at least 10-15 wins.

Someone articulated quite well the bonus of losing the baggage (Johnny Estrada, Paul LoDuca and Felipe Lopez) even if we didn't replace them.

Then there's the injury factor. We keep half the guys on the field who were injured last year and they might start to actually gell into a decent team. I'm not talking contenders yet, but at least the scrappy thorn in everyone's side that will bring a little more dignity and pride to this team

Then there's the new coaches, trainer and doctor which, if a bunch of the screamers on here are correct, should actually a) improve the hitting and b) cut down on the injuries.

Sure, we need big left-handed bats, first basemen, reliable starting pitchers, blah, blah, blah. But with just a little better luck than last year, the same team could give us a decent showing.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 5, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I would option Martis (RHP) and Bernadina (OF), and get ready to 'float' Belliard (IF) an OF, and P/C 'prospects' in a ST trade.

Posted by: BinM | January 5, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"there was a report out of Washington that was going to have baseball fans jumping for joy."

Lerner's paid their bills?
Obama's throwing out the first pitch?

I can't think of anything else baseball related that would have us jumping for joy now that Teixeira's gone.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 5, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

NNut -
The team should get a ten-game 'bump' upwards, if they stay reasonably healthy (no 3rd-stringers or lower starting on a regular basis). Current trade improvements could net another 5-7 wins. That's 74 wins+ for 2009. Not good, but with one or two more moves, the Nationals' could secure 3rd in the division in 2009.

Posted by: BinM | January 5, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the "jumping for joy" tease. 10 to 1 they're talking about a new moon bounce or something.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 5, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

So does that mean that Pie is definitely on the block?

Go get Felix and sign Dunn and the offseason gets a plus grade. If any of the bloated contracts weighing us down get offloaded it's an added bonus.

From L to R: Millz, Pie, Dukes = 1st team all-potential outfield

Posted by: Corey42 | January 5, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I like the news that they've decided o let Dukes and Milledge compete for centre field. Which is the most fan friendly way I've heard of saying 'no free agents will sign for us'.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The report was probably the bradley signing certainly had me jumping.whoooo hoooo

Posted by: caese | January 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Corey that is a fantastic idea except that you have to assume that Bradly won't be a centre fielder in Chicago.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 5, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed not to get Bradley. He's a good player and while he has had some episodes, he would have been a solid middle of the order bat. I was more concerned about his health than his head.

I still want Dunn and Hudson and would love to see them both signed, but if we only get one, I think I prefer Hudson.

Dukes and Milledge competing for CF is a good and appropriate move. But I am still assuming that both get 130+ games started next year. Which means that Willingham or Kearns will be pushed out. Kearns has not hit and most posters here would likely be glad to see him traded, but as a fourth outfielder he would really strengthen the bench. I'd like to keep him as insurance against the inevitable injurries.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 5, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I wondered for a second where the news was broken that the Nats are apparently going to let Milledge and Dukes compete for the CF job, since I hadn't seen anything about it here. Then I realized that it was a no-brainer and went over to to read some actual hot stove info courtesy of Ladson.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 5, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I get frustrated with Coverage is Lacking ralis unfairly against the Post coverage of the Nationals, but lately ... the news is out there to report. The coverage has been a little lacking. Can we just go back to Svrlugaville?

Posted by: natbisquit | January 5, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

CiL's rails have been more than fair of late.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 6, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Soundbloke, with the addition of Gathright before Bradley and having money tied up in Soriano and Fukudome, you'd have to assume that one of 'em (Gathright or Pie) will be the starter in CF or else that's a lot of money to sit on the bench with 4 corner OF's.

Go get Felix.

Posted by: Corey42 | January 6, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else support the Plan anymore?

Posted by: Section506 | January 6, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one worried about the free agent silence coming from the Nationals since Teixeira was signed by the NYY? Now Bradley and Burrel are elsewhere. What was Plan B in case Tex wasn't signed?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 6, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

What the MLB Network Hot Stove folks were suggesting last night is the Cubs may try to find a taker for Soriano.

Regarding Pie, the Cubs were asking for Garrett Olsen from the TTMNBN, who they were going to flip as part of a Peavy deal.

Another report on the Hot Stove show that might affect the Nats is the possible 1 year signing of Giambi by the As. Were we to sign a 1st baseman (Tex or Dunn), I thought that the As were a likely landing spot for Nick, with a middle reliever or a #4 starter type coming back. They have depth (##3 & 4 prospects in the AL are OAK pitchers), so I thought perhaps Dana Eveland, Sean Gallagher, or Santiago Casilla might be available.

Eddie Romero caught takig illegal supplement, suspended 50 games. Rays awarded World Series. There is some truth to this paragraph.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 6, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

506, I'm down with the Plan. Of course, it's a nebulous thing, so we all have our own interpretations. I suspect that you and I may have different tolerances for stop-gap type players. But overall, I'm willing to take a little more pain at the major-league level in order to watch some kids try to make good.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 6, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"What the MLB Network Hot Stove folks were suggesting last night is the Cubs may try to find a taker for Soriano."

I did in fact hear this too and wondered if Jimbo would go crashing in the same car twice and bring Mr. "I Care About the Fans that Pay Me the Most Money" back to DC. But the Hot Stove folks didn't like Soriano and the Nationals together at all.

Lets just get Dunn, trade Nick to get some pitching help, and see what happens.

I have a feeling that Milledge is going to be traded. This is Bowden's M.O. When in Cincinnati, he traded popular O'Neill for 'tools guy' Roberto Kelly. Kelly didn't pan out too well in Cincinnati and shortly after a year he was traded. Here he traded popular Schneider for "tools guy" Milledge that hasn't panned out too well.

MLB trade rumors reports the Nats signed Wil Ledezma. Woo hoo.

Posted by: raymitten | January 6, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

506, the Plan still has my support, just short of $15,000 worth for another season. Paid that last year to watch a Triple A team. And, I'll likely re-up again for 2010 after this year's squad "battles" for 75 wins and a shot at third place.
So at $30,000 more spent before the kids start to arrive, I'm just asking that the Lerners invest in a little credibility. I'm happy they should wait, as they have, for the market to come to them. I understand guys are not clamoring to come here, and we don't need Manny or Milton to sour the club house while gaining us little real advantage.
But, if they could bring in Dunn, Hudson and maybe Sheets or Garland at prices that don't queer the Plan and give me something to cheer occasionally, what could it hurt?

Posted by: advocate2 | January 6, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Bradley would have been a good sign since he put up outstanding numbers last year and seems to be maturing in much the same way Gary Sheffield did before he became an outstanding player. I don't know why Harlan is not posting or writing about this stuff unless it is too depressing, which it is. The Cubs signed MB for exactly what we offered him about a week ago. That news was available several places on the web, but not here on the Post site. Dunn is supposedly being courted by the Dodgers. That has not been covered here either. If you want the news about the Nationals, you cannot get it here any more.

Posted by: Juliasdad | January 6, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Why has the Post not covered the Bradley story? All I've seen (maybe I missed something) is references and links to other coverage (, Chicago Trib, ESPN). I know they didn't get him, but is not the interest/pursuit of a big dollar free agent a worthy story?

Posted by: Mitch8 | January 6, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I know it's silly and counter to the plan, but I would love to have Soriano back.

I'm not the kind of guy who typically pines away for former players. I don't know what it is about Soriano. Maybe it's his smile.

Pure emotional response.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 6, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow, some of the posters here are acting just like a toddler does when another kid starts to play with a toy that the first kid hasn't touched in over a year. The first kid starts whining and crying that he/she wanted that toy even know they never really wanted it but because someone else wants it.

Milton Bradley should *NEVER* be counted on being an everyday outfielder. He put up very good numbers last year because he was the DH! In 2007, he played 61 games in the OF. In 2006, 96 games. In 2005, 75. Not exactly Mr. Durable here. Yet, a lot of you are upset that the Nats didn't get him, but you also want to get rid of Nick because he can't stay healthy!

Now, I think counting on Nick to be the everyday 1B is silly and that the Nats should have a candidate primed and ready to take over in Spring Training. Who that is, I don't know. But please stop whining that the Nats lost out on Bradley.

Posted by: erocks33 | January 6, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

It's always possible Meat will be back in shape to play 1st base. (ducking)

Posted by: NatsNut | January 6, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

There must have been some high-fiving going on over in the executive offices at Nationals Park after the Burrell deal went down. It's no secret the Nats are focused on Dunn these days, and now they must be thinking they can get him at closer to their price than his.

from Sheinin over on Baseball Insider

Posted by: MrMadison | January 6, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"It's always possible Meat will be back in shape to play 1st base"

Spherical is a shape.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 6, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

As for starting pitchers, I think the Nats are going to wait to see who is still unsigned by the time ST starts next month. Chances are, though, that the Paul Byrd's, Braden Looper's, Derek Lowe's and Oliver Perez' will already be signed by then, but I think the Nats may do the sign-a-veteran-off-the-scrap-heap thing again and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. They may not be able to get a true #1 this way, but a veteran or two may help solidify the rotation and who knows, if they put up decent first half numbers they could be dealt in July for some draft picks.

I wouldn't be adverse if the Nats picked up one or two (1 year deal - major or minor league deal) of these guys to see if they have anything left. These are either guys that are at the possible end of their careers or are coming off major surgery that has kept them off the field for a year or two, so they may be eager to sign with anyone if they're still available come mid-February:

Freddy Garcia
Pedro Martinez
Mark Mulder
Mark Prior
Ben Sheets (probably will sign soon, but his injury history may scare teams off and he may have to settle on a 1 or 2 year deal to prove that he can be healthy)
John Smoltz (almost no chance, but I think having him back with Stan and in the clubhouse would be great for the young 'uns. Plus, he could start or close if needed)

Posted by: erocks33 | January 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmn ... it seems to me that most of us agree that the failure to sign Bradley is a good thing, at least as an on-the-field matter. I do think there is some theoretically valid concern over the fact that he, like Teixeira, turned down an equal or better deal here, meaning we still have a ways to go before we can attract free agents (the Teixeira pursuit notwithstanding).

On the coverage, it's worth noting that the Times doesn't seem to have covered the Bradley story either, at least I couldn't find it on their website. Some might argue that the Nats are getting the coverage they deserve -- and by that I mean the level of coverage that matches the level of fan interest. Of course, more coverage might generate more fan interest, but my sense is that the Post is not in position to make this kind of investment in these lean times. So yes, coverage is indeed lacking, and appears likely to stay that way until the team makes itself relevant.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think if Young finally got into shape I think he could have 450+ at bats and go .320/.378/.491

Posted by: Section506 | January 6, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: 6thandD | January 6, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

You make a good point BobL and now we move on to Dunn who is waiting to see whether the Dodgers sign Manny. That is how this seems to be breaking. If the Dodgers sign Manny then Dunn is available to us and others. I have not seen anywhere that we have made an offer to Dunn, which must be a good sign since no one is waving our offer around as proof of Dunn's market value. Best case scenario is they sign Orlando Hudson and trade Nick Johnson for Daric Barton and Belliard for prospects. That would generate some coverage.

Posted by: Juliasdad | January 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey, there's a new post up yonder.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 6, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

As I thought the Nationals may as well be handing out Confederate money.

Nobody in free agency that has even a chance to go to a contender is going to look to come here.

Whatever 'talent' the Nationals are in line to acquire in the offseason will come from trades where players don't have the choice of where they go, and from the bargain basement bin of free agents like Cabrera, those who want to ensure they have a paycheck coming in for 2009.

But don't expect any table changers.

The Nationals started one year TOO LATE in showing themselves to be a team earnest about improving to major league baseball.

In 2006 and 2007 this team disdained free agency as if it were a disease and sat smugly by and figured that they would develop ALL the talent they needed from within.

Well, 3 plus years after going 81-81 in their inaugural season here the Nationals still don't have:

1. A top of the rotation starter.

2. A center fielder.

3. A first baseman who can hit for power.

4. A settled bullpen.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 6, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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