Player of the Day: Milton Bradley
I love this guy. He is one of the very best players in the game when he can play. Similar to Carlos Beltran. Or Mark Teixiera. Except that he can't keep himself in the lineup. The CHONE projection thinks he'll find Wrigley to his liking.
If Bradley were able to play 150 games a year, he'd be a 20 million dollar per year player. He's got power, a very high on-base average, and has always been a good defensive outfielder, though after a year as DH his current outfield ability is a bit unknown. Projected as an average defender at his 114 game level, he's worth 13.6 million. The Cubs sign him for 10 million a year, so their break-even point here is 84 games. If Milton can play that many, they get their money's worth.
His 90th percentile season shows a glimpse of what a healthy Bradley could do in a career year: .330 average, 35 homers, 100 walks, .450 OBP/.600 SLG - that would earn an MVP vote or two. We'll probably never actually see that season, though Milton came pretty close to those rate numbers last year, just missing on the playing time.
Milton would have been my #2 free agent target had I been in charge of the Angels. But what do I know. If I had been in charge I would have spent the extra 3 million and gotten J.D. Drew instead of Gary Matthews Jr.
Runner up on player of the day is Pat Burrell, leaving the World Champs to sign with the AL champs. I can't help but notice the parallels to Greg Luzinski, who left the Phillies after their last championship. Like Burrell, Greg was a huge slugger who walked and struck out a lot, and had little range in the field. Like Burrell, he left to become a fulltime DH in the other league. Luzinski gave the White Sox 3 good years of DHing before he was finished, so the Rays should be safe with a two year contract.