If there was one thing that Jim Hendry wanted to accomplish at the Winter Meetings this year, it was to stuff one item from each steam tray in the lunch buffet into his mouth at the same time. If there were two things Jim Hendry wanted to accomplish this year, the first was the buffet thing, but the second was trading Milton Bradley to someone. Anyone. For anything. I’m already on record as saying that Hendry’s decision to suspend Bradley was stupid. If Bradley had one iota of trade value left prior to the suspension, it was gone the minute Jim gave Milton some time off to pick up his son from school in the 1963 version of Montgomery, Alabama.
Now, Jim is more screwed than that steam tray of jumbo shrimp they just brought out. No one wants Milton on their team. Any trade which sounded even remotely appealing is likely off the table at this point. The Rays would rather keep Pat Burrell for a year than have to deal with Milton for two, and I can hardly blame them. Mike Lowell looks to be headed to Texas. Luis Castillo (yes, we’re still amazingly in the APPEALING section of these proposed trades) isn’t likely to be in Chicago next year. Even the pea-brained Omar Minaya knows he might lose his job (and virginity) to FORMER GM OF THE NEW YORK METS, STEVE PHILLIPS if he brought in Milton.
After all reasonable trades fell through, former NFL wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown (who really could use some sun) tweeted that the Cubs were talking to the Mariners about Carlos Silva. (HT: Weebs) Let’s hope they were talking about how terrible Silva is, and about how ridiculous the Cubs would be to trade for him. Silva is old, broken, expensive, and terrible. But, apparently that’s what Milton’s equivalent “value” is at this point.
So, what do the Cubs do?
They could take the absolute beating that it will cost them to get rid of Milton. Maybe there is no way he can coexist with Lou Piniella. Maybe, if he was brought back, the fans would ride him so hard next year, that he’d throw the ball into the stands with one out instead of two.
On the other hand, if the alternative is taking on Carlos Silva, shouldn’t the Cubs be talking to Milton right now? Shouldn’t they be trying to smooth things over? Couldn’t they ask him if there is any possibility that he can play 140+ games? Can they assure him that they will protect his fragile psyche from the media? That they’ll put extra security in the right-field bleachers? That they will force his son’s preschool teacher into racial sensitivity classes? From what I understand, no one in the organization has contacted Milton. That could prove to be awkward if Milton is standing out there in right field this February.
If there’s any chance of reconciliation between the Cubs and Milton Bradley, isn’t that a better option than trading him for the equivalent of Carlos Silva?