Seattle Continues Busy Offseason: Carlos Silva Traded to Cubs for Milton Bradley.

How will Milton Bradley's temperament fit in with the Mariners' good mojo?

In what is becoming almost a daily occurence in the Emerald City, the Seattle Mariners have acquired yet another player in hopes of capturing the AL West in 2010, though this deal is anything but a sure thing. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Mariners have finalized a trade that will send pitcher Carlos Silva to the Chicago Cubs in return for outfielder Milton Bradley. Both players had long since worn out their welcomes in Seattle and Chicago respectively, and with each being slated to make around $25 million dollars over the next two years, this trade was the only real option for two teams looking to get rid of their constant source of headaches.

The Carlos Silva experiment was an absolute disaster for the Mariners. After signing a four-year/$48 million dollar contract in 2007 (a move which was widely mocked throughout the league) Silva went 5-18 over the past two seasons, including a 1-3 mark with an ungodly 8.60 ERA in 2009. In fact, about the only positive thing Silva accomplished during his time in Seattle was getting hurt last season, allowing the Mariners to develop young arms in their rotation. One of the last painful reminders of the Bill Bavasi era in Seattle, the fact that the Mariners were able to get anything for Silva is a miracle, and while Bradley does come with his baggage, he also offers tremendous upside at the plate.

It didn’t take long for the Cubs to figure out that Bradley wasn’t a good fit for them. In fact, it didn’t even take a full season (he was suspended on September 20th). Plagued by injuries throughout the year and serving as a constant distraction to the team with his outbursts and tirades, Chicago was dead-set on moving Bradley this offseason but couldn’t find any suitors other than the Mariners. Signed to play in the outfield last year, Bradley struggled defensively and only hit .257 with 12 HR’s and 40 RBI’s. Still, his keen batting eye allowed him to post a .378 OBP (which would have been second on the M’s last season), and Bradley has constantly shown himself to be an adept hitter—when he’s healthy and happy. Long regarded as a clubhouse cancer, Bradley seems to create controversey wherever he plays, and may prove to be more trouble than he is worth for Seattle if they can’t find a way to keep him under control.

The Mariners needed to find a designated hitter after the news that one of their primary targets, Nick Johnson, planned to sign with the New York Yankees. Keeping Bradley off the field will help neutralize the risk for an injury, but will his disruptive presence ruin a clubhouse that was one of the best in all of baseball last season? Seattle is gambling that veterans like Ken Griffey Jr. and manager Don Wakamatsu’s zen-like personality will be able to keep Bradley in line, and if that works, they’ve acquired a top-flight hitter who will be a welcome addition to their lineup. There’s no debating Bradley’s talent (career .371 OBP) but his off the field problems are a very real issue. Jack Zduriencik has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt thus far, and Mariners’ fans hope that Bradley will be a key factor in the team returning to the playoffs…and not just Carl Everett part two.

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5 Responses

  1. Wow. You broke this news to me!

    What a great move by the Mariners front office. This is creative and takes courage. And it apparently won’t add to payroll.

    Now we have another dramatic storyline to watch unfold. I think Seattle is a good fit for Bradley. Seattle fans are laid back and relatively easy to please. Also his reputation is so bad that expectations are low.

    The Mariners were in desperate need of OBP type guys and Bradley is that even in his worst seasons. Plus, even if he just gets 300 at bats, what is lost? Silva was a terrible signing and worthless to the Mariners.

    I gotta say I do not recall the Mariners being so bold in an off-season as they have been this year.

  2. Bud, you and I know first hand what a vital role Silva played last year in flirting with Felix. Only time will tell if this loss will hurt the ace. But a very interesting deal. One that I’m pretty pleased with, but you just never know.

  3. It’s true. If it hadn’t been for Silva’s constant companionship and tickling, who knows how well Felix would have faired last season. I will definitely miss the bromance…the Mariners’ answer to Turk and J.D.

  4. The Mariners have had a phenomenal and exciting offseason – the best in many a year. Hernandez and Lee now give them one of the best one-two starting pitcher punches in all of baseball and I think there is a good chance Bradley pans out well – plus Figgons was another great pick-up. I’m betting the Mariners jump back into the play-off picture next season. Not sure if they will unseat the Angels for the AL West crown or the Yankees/Red Sox loser for the wild card just yet, but they should make a good run.

  5. I’m so glad you went with scrubs. You know just the way to my heart.

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