According to a report from Bruce Levine Sunday afternoon, “the team will most likely explore deals for outfielder Milton Bradley and starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano” this off-season.
Bob Nightengale from USA Today mentioned on ESPN 1000 Friday night that he could see the Cubs trading Milton Bradley to the Texas Rangers this winter, with the Cubs eating half of his remaining contract.
So are Milton Bradley and Carlos Zambrano’s days on the North Side numbered? First, no one knows which direction the Cubs will go in the off-season. And no one will until the Ricketts Family officially takes over the organization. The Cubs have just under $116 million ($15.875 million) committed to ten players next season, not counting arbitration eligible players and automatic renewals (0-3 men). Jim Hendry will have to get clearance from Tom Ricketts in order to add to their already substantial payroll.
Milton Bradley is owed $21 million over the final two years of his three-year contract ($9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011). Bradley has produced at the plate in the second half. But many feel his nine-inning comment a few weeks back was his way of asking to be traded.
Carlos Zambrano has three years and a vesting option on a fourth year left on the five-year contract he signed during the 2007 season. Zambrano’s contract breaks out as follows:
- 2010 – $17.875 million
- 2011 – $17.875 million
- 2012 – $18 million
- 2013 – $19.25 million vesting player option
The player option vests in 2013 if he finishes first or second in 2011 Cy Young Award or if Zambrano finishes in the top four in the Cy Young voting in 2012 and is healthy at the end of the 2012 season.
Carlos Zambrano has a full no-trade clause but Zambrano told Bruce Levine earlier in the year “if the team ever wanted to trade him, he wouldn’t stand in their way.”
Stay Tuned … it appears this winter will be anything but boring on the North Side