If Cubs Trade Bradley, Could Zambrano Go?

Milton Bradley was suspended for the rest of the season by the Chicago Cubs and he still has two years left on his contract and more then $20 million owed to him. It will be hard to get a team to take his contract and/or eat all of that money. Sure, the Cubs could probably trade him, pay most of it, and get little in return, but they need to formulate a plan to get the most in return. How can they do that? Well, Carlos Zambrano could be packaged with him, but would this work?

Carlos Zambrano and Milton Bradley are both vocal and emotional players. Sometimes that emotion can get the best of them, so they are risky players to obtain through a trade. They are both owed a lot of money and signed for multiple years. What teams would be interested in them and who could afford their contracts? Lastly, if a team meets both of those requirements, what players would the Cubs receive?

I scanned through the teams and it seems like the New York Mets would be the best fit. MLBTradeRumors.com offered a scenario earlier this week that maybe an Oliver Perez for Milton Bradley trade could work out for both teams. Perez had a pretty nice 2nd half in 2008, but looked horrible in 2009. The Mets need an outfielder and maybe Perez just needs his mechanics re-worked. I don’t know if a trade like that, even though it would work just in money terms, but if you add Zambrano, maybe the Mets may let go of a player like Jose Reyes or Luis Castillo. Reyes is a great fantasy player, but they were hoping that he would develop into a superstar, which he has not. He has been out nearly 75% of the season this year and his injury affects his speed, his value to the team would drop. Luis Castillo is a nice 2nd baseman, he’s getting a little older and the Mets could be looking to get rid of him. Zambrano would help them secure a top-tier pitcher for their pitcher-friendly new stadium.

With the ownership finally looking like it could be finalized this off-season, the Cubs may try and get some new blood in the organization. It has yet to be seen if Tom Ricketts will be a free-spending owner, since it has been rumored that most of his net-worth is tied up and may not be the “Mark Cuban-esque” owner that most Cubs fans want.

This upcoming season may be the last season for Lou Pinella as the manager of the team and if you eliminate Zambrano and Bradley from the team, it could be a good move. Pinella hasn’t seemed as fired up as he was the first couple years with the team. I don’t know if that is a great thing for the team, but the remarks and comments by Big Z and Bradley has distracted the team and put the spotlight on them in a negative light. If the Cubs can move both players in one move and get 40 cent on the dollar, I would do it. Zambrano is a good pitcher, but he is so inconsistent and emotional that you never know what you’re going to get. For the long-term success of the team, as a Cubs fan, I would support this move.

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