Tag Archives: Milton Bradley

Original Draft Series – Team #13: Washington Nationals


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #13: Washington Nationals (Montreal Expos)

General Managers(since 1994)

Kevin Malone (1994-1995): 140-118
Jim Beattie (1996-2001): 434-538
Omar Minaya (2002-2004): 233-253
Jim Bowden (2005-2008): 287-282
Mike Rizzo (2009-Current): 59-103

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 0 0 1 2 0 6 7

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Brian Schneider 1995 – 5th Rd 12 757 gm, .252/.323/.377, 47 HR, 294 RBI Traded to NYM – 11/30/07
1B Geoff Blum 1994 – 7th Rd 7 317 gm, .254/.323/.409, 28 HR, 113 RBI, 11 SB Traded to HOU – 3/12/02
2B Brandon Phillips
1999 – 2nd Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 6/27/02
3B Ryan Zimmerman 2005 – 1st Rd (4) 5 1 All Star Appearance, 1 Gold Glove, 1 Silver Slugger
693 gm, .286/.351/.483, 108 HR, 416 RBI, 20 SB
Currently with Org.
SS Orlando Cabrera Int’l FA – 1993 11 1 Gold Glove
904 gm, .267/.315/.405, 66 HR, 381 RBI, 93 SB
Traded to BOS – 7/31/04
LF Jason Bay 2000 – 22nd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to NYM – 3/24/02
CF Grady Sizemore 2000 – 3rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 6/27/02
RF Vladimir Guerrero
Int’l FA – 1993 10 4 All Star Appearances, 3 Silver Sluggers
1004 gm, .323/.390/.588, 234 HR, 702 RBI, 123 SB
Left via FA – 10/27/03
DH Milton Bradley 1996 – 2nd Rd 5 109 gm, .222/.288/.332, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 9 SB Traded to CLE – 7/31/01
SP Cliff Lee 2000 – 4th Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 6/27/02
SP Javier Vazquez 1994 – 5th Rd 9 64-68, 4.16 ERA, 1229.1 IP, 1076 K, 331 BB, 1.274 WHIP Traded to NYY – 12/16/03
SP Stephen Strasburg 2009 – 1st Rd (1) 1 5-2, 2.32 ERA, 75 K, 15 BB, 1.067 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP John Lannan 2005 – 11th Rd 5 22-35, 4.19 ERA, 498 IP, 240 K, 192 BB, 1.434 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Armando Galarraga Int’l FA – 1998 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to TEX – 12/8/05
RP Craig Stammen 2005 – 12th Rd 5 6-11, 5.29 ERA, 199 IP, 97 K, 51 BB, 1.372 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Miguel Batista Int’l FA – 1988 3+1 12-15, 4.54 ERA, 333 IP, 232 K, 153 BB, 1.523 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Ross Detwiler 2007 – 1st Rd (6) 3 1-7, 4.71 ERA, 48 K, 36 BB, 1.568 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Marco Estrada 2005 – 6th Rd 4 0-1, 7.20 ERA, 20 IP, 19 K, 9 BB, 1.600 WHIP Selected by MIL – 2/3/10
RP Collin Balester 2004 – 4th Rd 6 4-11, 5.85 ERA, 112.1 IP, 72 K, 42 BB, 1.513 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Drew Storen 2009 – 1st Rd (10) 1 2-2, 2.73 ERA, 29.2 IP, 26 K, 14 BB, 1.281 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Mark Grudzielanek 1991 – 11th Rd 7 1 All Star Appearance
492 gm, .281/.320/.378, 19 HR, 161 RBI, 77 SB
Traded to LAD – 7/31/98
BN Roger Bernadina Int’l FA – 2001 9 102 gm, .255/.317/.374, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 12 SB Currently with Org.
BN Jamey Carroll 1996 – 14th Rd 9 336 gm, .269/.344/.338, 2 HR, 54 RBI, 14 SB Purchased by COL – 2/11/06
BN Wilson Valdez Int’l FA – 1997 5 No Major League Appearances with Org. Selected by FLA – 3/29/02
BN Ian Desmond 2004 – 3rd Rd 6 115 gm, .257/.296/.418, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 10 SB Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

For as bad as this team has been overall in the last 15 years, you would think that their first round picks would have developed a lot better. Stephen Strasburg gives a lot of hope for the organization, and Bryce Harper also will be there eventually. But the draft has been a lot of what could have been in Montreal if the ownership and the general managers could have held onto allow the team develop instead. Look at the list of players who made All Star teams for other teams: Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, Milton Bradley, Jason Bay, Brandon Phillips. This is a team that should have more to show for its draft than it does.

International Free Agency

The Nationals have done a lot better in international free agency than a lot of the other teams have done so far. Clearly, the cream of this crop has been Vladimir Guerrero. If only they had been under new ownership when he became eligible to be a free agent…. But the Nationals also had Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Batista, who have both had success in the Majors. While there aren’t a lot of players on this list who came this way, the quality is what makes me believe it is a better class.

Overall Grade

B. This is an organization that has definitely had some talent go through. This was one of the first teams where I was able to build a starting roster with a substantial amount of All-Stars, albeit not with the Nationals. The only weaknesses in the starting lineup to me were at C and 1B, but as good as the rest of the lineup is more than made up for it. The starting rotation is anchored by a pair of aces (Lee, Vazquez) and an ace-in-waiting with Strasburg. The only real weakness on the pitching side to me is the bullpen, which is mostly unproven or very raw.

Fun with Old Copies of BA’s Almanac (2003 edition) – Part 1


A couple of weeks ago, I was at a used book sale, and there were a couple of copies of old Baseball America Almanacs available. I picked them up, as I thought it would bring some interesting insights now that it’s been a few years since they were published. I’ll be writing a few posts on and off during the remainder of the season, with plans to cover both this (2003) edition as well as the 2008 edition as well.

The 2003 edition follows after the end of the 2002 season. The Almanac starts out with a recap of the top stories of the 2002 season:

Contraction

After the 2001 season, Commissioner Bud Selig mentioned that he was a proponent of the idea of contracting two of the organizations, as neither team appeared to be economically viable based on their current market conditions. The two teams: The Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins. I can distinctly remember at the time being extremely interested in how they would go about doing this: How would they distribute the players currently under contract with these teams, would they become free agents as well or would there be some version of a contraction draft, similar in nature to an expansion draft. Some of the players who were under team control who could very well have been available in such a contraction draft:

  • Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer, A.J. Pierzynski, Brad Radke and Johan Santana from the Twins
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Orlando Cabrera, Javier Vazquez, Grady Sizemore, Milton Bradley, and Cliff Lee from the Expos

This clearly would have also modified the formatting of the leagues themselves as well, as someone would have had to go to one of the leagues to make both of them have even numbers of teams. I think it is interesting to look at, much in the same manner that it would be interesting to see what happened if MLB were to expand to 32 or more teams as well.

The players’ union was clearly not for this idea, as it essentially amounted to losing at minimum 50 jobs for union members. Thankfully for all parties involved, this idea was shelved with the completion of the next item.

If you look at the baseball landscape now, it clearly would have been a lot different had the Twins and Expos been eliminated. The first thing that pops into my mind is just how much of a viable entity the Twins have become in the Twin Cities. Part of this has also been helped by the fact that ownership changed from Carl Pohlad to his son Jim. The newly opened Target Field appears to be another stunning example of a great ballpark in a downtown area.

Labor Strife and Something Different

The biggest story surrounding the 2002 season, which to be honest with you, I had forgotten had even happened, was the expiration of the previous labor agreement on November 7, 2001, and the potential for a lockout or a strike that could result from this. It clearly did not bode well for the parties involved, as they had not been able to come to an agreement for a labor contract without some version of a work stoppage in the past.

Clearly, this much remains true: The fact that they had set a lockout date (August 30th, before the Cubs-Cardinals day game) shows us just how close it really came to being another work stoppage, and potentially more irreparable harm done to the game. The sides were able to come to an agreement 3 hours before the deadline set by the players.

The impact to me, is that it proved to both the owners and the players that their differences were not such that they could not be met together and solved together. So much so that the 2006 labor negotiations came off without any particularly concrete mentions of work stoppages. Long term, this particular contract really has helped to solidify the labor peace for years to come.

Baseball Games Can End in Ties Apparently

Talk about a disappointing finish. No one ever really thought that the All-Star game was particularly important, and knew that nearly everyone was just showing up for a fun three days, see their favorite players, and go back to the business of winning games. But they clearly ran into a bit of a problem in 2002, when both teams ran out of pitchers after going 11 innings in the All Star Game and commissioner Bud Selig declaring the game a tie and ending it there.

Ugh. What a mess this one created. We have the “Now it counts” campaign, which to me has done very little for the All-Star game’s popularity. The point of the game originally was to showcase the stars of the season, but now it gives the winning league the home field advantage in the World Series. I think it honestly should have stayed as an exhibition, allowing it to be a nice break in the season for all the parties involved. Instead, it’s now become extremely important to win this game. However, watching Tuesday’s All Star game it still seems like the managers are less concerned about winning than MLB would hope. To me, if I am trying to win that game no matter what, I don’t let David Ortiz run the bases after getting on in the bottom of the 9th. There’s no guarantee that Alex Rodriguez would have made it in time to second base, but clearly he’s a better baserunner at this point than David Ortiz.

The Passing of Legends of the Game, and One Gone Too Soon

2002 saw two titans of the game pass on unfortunately. For St. Louis fans, it was almost too much to bear when iconic broadcaster Jack Buck passed away on June 18th. You can see what, to me, was one of his greatest moments ever, when he spoke to Cardinals fans when games resumed after September 11th. Sadly for the Cardinals, the week just continued to get worse, as hours before their game against the Cubs 4 days later, it was discovered that 33 year old starting pitcher Darryl Kile had passed away in his sleep from a blocked coronary artery. The Cardinals were still able to win the NL Central division with a 97-65 record, and lost to the Giants in the NLCS.

The other major passing in 2002 was of the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams. The story that ensued afterward became an embarrassment to everyone involved, as the members of the Williams family disputed Ted’s final wishes. The argument stemmed around whether or not he had made a viable determination that he wanted to be cryogenically frozen or whether he was to be cremated and scatter his ashes. Thankfully, the story sort of went away by the end of the year.

MLB, Owner of the Montreal Expos

In an extremely unusual twist of fate, MLB stepped in in early February to purchase the Montreal Expos from their previous owner, Jeffrey Loria, so that he could purchase the Florida Marlins from their current owner, John Henry, so that Henry could purchase the Boston Red Sox. It became a bit of a contentious point as the other 29 teams essentially became the part owners of the Expos, and it was widely wondered exactly how the team would be allowed to operate, including signing free agents, trading players, and managed. MLB placed Omar Minaya in the GM’s office, and Frank Robinson as the field manager. Surprisingly, the team actually performed very well in 2002, to the point where they actually acquired ace starting pitcher Bartolo Colon from the Indians at the trade deadline. However, the team fell out of contention, finishing with a bery respectable 83-79 record but stunting the growth of the franchise by moving future franchise players Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, and Grady Sizemore to the Indians to acquire Colon.

As I am sure it is with any season, the 2002 season had its own share of major stories. Anyone remember any other specific stories from the 2002 season? Post them in the comments below.

The next post from this series will be early next week, and will look at BA’s 2002 Minor League All-Star Teams.

The Week In Review: May 19th – May 23rd


If the Playoffs Started Now

Texas Rangers (25-20) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (32-12)
New York Yankees (26-17) vs. Minnesota (26-18)

Cincinnati Reds (25-19) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (26-17)
St. Louis Cardinals (26-19) vs. San Diego Padres (26-18)

Top Stories of the Week that Was

  • The Hanley Ramirez lack of hustle story appears to have resolved itself, after Ramirez met with his teammates and Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez. I really hope that this is the last time we hear about Hanley Ramirez in a bad light, because the Marlins really want (and need) him to be the face of their franchise when they move into their new stadium in 2012.
  • Trevor Hoffman worked the 8th inning of Sunday’s game for the Brewers, and appears to have been removed from the closer’s role at least in the short term. I really hope that by the end of the season he gets it back together and gets on a roll, as I have to imagine that this is most likely going to be his last season in the Majors. He’s only 4 short of 6o0 career saves, which I have to imagine he would love to achieve before retiring.
  • Milton Bradley returned from the restricted list, and sounds like he may be finally getting the help that he needs. The talent is definitely still there, but the key is that he may finally be in a good spot to get the support he needs. Seattle is full of clubhouse leaders like Ken Griffey Jr and Mike Sweeney, and I have to imagine they are helping a lot.
  • Eric Chavez was put on the disabled list on Saturday to help clear a spot for the returning Mark Ellis. Chavez has been experiencing neck spasms for the majority of the season, and it sounds like this may finally be the injury. Chavez said at the beginning of the season that if he suffered another major injury, he would most likely retire. Well, apparently that may be the case this time. As an A’s fan, the whole thing is really sad to me, as Chavez was so good for the start of his career, but was just completely derailed by injuries for the last 4 seasons.
  • Sunday brought sad news that Jose Lima had died of a heart attack. Lima wasn’t the best pitcher, but he was always one of the most entertaining to be sure. He had a really great season in 1999, when it was always Lima-Time. Sad to hear this.
  • Jimmy Rollins was placed on the disabled list again after reinjuring his leg. I’m wondering at this point if this is going to be a lost season along the lines of what happened to Jose Reyes last year.
  • Nyjer Morgan didn’t have the greatest week ever. On Wednesday, he misplayed a ball which ended up as an inside-the-park homerun. Which would have been bad enough, except that it also happened to him again on Saturday.  Hopefully this week will be better.
  • Brad Penny was having a pretty good game on Friday, when he came up with the bases loaded against Joel Pineiro. He hit a grand slam, and proceeded to not be able to come back out to the mound in the following inning. A back injury has landed him on the disabled list.
  • The injury bug hit some more big name players, as Jorge Posada and Grady Sizemore were both placed on the disabled list. For fantasy purposes, I would think that both of them are droppable in shallower leagues.

I’m working on a new project and am hoping to have posts for it up starting this week sometime.

Team Preview – Chicago Cubs


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Geovany Soto SP 1 Carlos Zambrano
1B Derrek Lee SP 2 Ryan Dempster
2B Mike Fontenot SP 3 Ted Lilly
3B Aramis Ramirez SP 4 Randy Wells
SS Ryan Theriot SP 5 Tom Gorzelanny
LF Alfonso Soriano Bullpen
CF Marlon Byrd CL Carlos Marmol
RF Kosuke Fukudome RP John Grabow
Bench RP Jeff Samardzija
IF Jeff Baker RP Sean Marshall
OF Xavier Nady RP Carlos Silva

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
CF Marlon Byrd Free Agency RF Milton Bradley Trade (SEA)
SP Carlos Silva Trade (SEA) IF Jake Fox Trade (OAK)
RP Kevin Gregg Free Agency

Top Prospects: Starlin Castro (SS), Josh Vitters (3B), Esmailin Caridad (P), Brett Jackson (OF)

2009 Review

The Cubs came into 2009 expecting to be the class of the NL Central. Injuries to key players (Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez), and poor production by others (Geovany Soto, Milton Bradley) led the team to an 83-78 record, finishing 7.5 games behind the rival Cardinals. The season really was a bit of a mess, as drama surrounding Milton Bradley hung over the team for a majority of the season, leading to his suspension in September, and eventual trade in the offseason.

The Cubs did have a few bright spots though. On offense, 1B Derrek Lee (.306, 35 HR, 111 RBI) led the way, and SS Ryan Theriot performed well also (.284, 21 SB, 7 HR). In the rotation, Ted Lilly (12-9, 3.10), and Ryan Dempster (11-9, 3.64) both pitched very well. The surprise of the season was probably rookie pitcher Randy Wells, who posted a 12-10 record with a 3.05 ERA in 27 starts.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Cubs spent most of their offseason trying to rebuild their clubhouse culture. They were able to rid themselves of RF Milton Bradley, but were forced to take back the equally bad contract of SP Carlos Silva. They signed good-clubhouse guy Kevin Millar to a minor league deal, and could have him on the team as a backup for a few positions. Overall, this team is expected to perform this season. Their pitching, led by Carlos Zambrano, will be solid once Ted Lilly returns from his injury (mid-April is the current ETA). They will be looking for bounceback seasons from both C Geovany Soto and LF Alfonso Soriano, as well as a full season of performance from 3B Aramis Ramirez. The NL Central is not a particularly tough division this season, as neither the Astros or Pirates are expected to be particularly competitive. But the Cubs are getting older, as 6 of their everyday players will be over 30 during this season. They could be looking at a rebuilding effort in the coming seasons if they are not performing to expectations.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

The best of this group is probably SP’s Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells, and 1B Derrek Lee. 3B Aramis Ramirez should be fine now that he returned from his injury, and should also be a top-10 3B. OF Marlon Byrd had a great season last year, although I’m not 100% sold he can repeat that again. In deeper leagues, I would look at both SS Ryan Theriot, who will provide some runs and steals, and 2B Mike Fontenot. If Fontenot can successfully hold onto the job, he should provide some solid stats for deep leagues.

Prediction for 2010

The Cubs are hoping that this is the season they are finally able to win a World Series, and I think that the team they have built can at least compete for that. They may need a little luck, as the top of the division is kind of bunched together, but I think that they have the pitching to sustain.

87-75, 1st in the NL Central

Team Preview – Seattle Mariners


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Adam Moore SP 1 Felix Hernandez
1B Casey Kotchman SP 2 Cliff Lee
2B Jose Lopez SP 3 Ryan Rowland-Smith
3B Chone Figgins SP 4 Ian Snell
SS Jack Wilson SP 5 Garrett Olson
LF Michael Saunders Bullpen
CF Franklin Gutierrez CL David Aardsma
RF Ichiro Suzuki RP Brandon League
DH Milton Bradley RP Mark Lowe
Bench RP Shawn Kelley
IF Ryan Garko RP Jason Vargas
IF Eric Byrnes RP Erik Bedard

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Cliff Lee Trade (PHI) 1B Russell Branyan Free Agency
OF Milton Bradley Trade (CHC) SP Brandon Morrow Trade (TOR)
3B Chone Figgins Free Agency 3B Adrian Beltre Free Agency

Top Prospects: Carlos Triunfel (SS), Michael Pineda (P), Dustin Ackley (OF/2B), Alex Liddi (3B)

2009 Review

The Mariners came into 2009 with a new manager (Don Wakamatsu), and were hopeful that 2009 would be a good season for them. While not expected by many to perform well, the Mariners still finished with a 85-77 record, good for 3rd place in the AL West and 12 games back of the Angels. They also brought Ken Griffey Jr back to the Mariners, partially as a publicity stunt, and partially to help fill the role of a veteran presence.

The pitching staff was led by Cy Young runner-up Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49, 217 strikeouts), Jarrod Washburn (8-6, 2.64), and Ryan Rowland-Smith (5-4, 3.74). On offense, Ichiro (.352, 11 HR, 26 SB) was a standout as usual. The Mariners also had some breakout performances, including 1B Russell Branyan (31 HR, 76 RBI), CF Franklin Gutierrez (.283, 18 HR, 16 SB), and closer David Aardsma (2.52, 38 sv).

Team Outlook for 2010

The team had a very active offseason, and are considered by many to be the most improved team going into 2010. The big acquisition was obviously the trade that brought former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Northwest. And how they were able to bring Milton Bradley in return for Carlos Silva’s useless contract is beyond comprehension. They’ve added more speed and a top-of-the-order hitter in Chone Figgins, and continued to improve their defense with 1B Casey Kotchman.

I think that the Mariners may only be missing some additional power in their order, although they did bring Griffey back to help provide some power off the bench. Adding Lee will help the Mariners should they make the postseason, and give them a very good 1-2-3 punch with Hernandez and Bedard as well. They should see some development in both rookie C Adam Moore and OF Michael Saunders as well. They have really done well to build a team that is reliant upon defense and pitching, specifically built for Safeco Field.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Ichiro remains a top tier outfielder, although there are some concerns that he may be slowing due to age. I wouldn’t worry too much about him though. Also, King Felix and Cliff Lee are both top-25 starters and will probably not last past the 7th round (in Lee’s case). 3B Chone Figgins should provide a good value, although at 3B he is one of the few players who provides no power and a lot of speed. Deeper leagues, I would say look at Milton Bradley, as he could potentially provide high-upside power, and also Ryan Rowland-Smith as a potential end-draft starter.

Prediction for 2010

The Mariners look like they have improved enough to compete in the division, and will rely on the 1-2 punch of Hernandez and Lee to help finish the job in the season’s final weeks. The AL West is wide open, and I think that the tandem of Hernandez-Lee will be what puts them over the top.

88-74, 1st in the AL West

Trade Review – SEA/CHC


Chicago Cubs receive SP Carlos Silva and $9 M
Seattle Mariners receive OF/DH Milton Bradley

The Cubs
The Cubs had convinced themselves that they HAD to get rid of Bradley. He had become a clubhouse cancer, and the production he was providing was not worth the headache. So in moving Bradley and the $21 M they owed him over the next 2 years, they receive Carlos Silva. Silva is a pitcher who clearly had worn out his welcome last season in Seattle. After being given a 4 yr/$48 M contract by the previous general manager, Silva had been a pretty much useless pitcher for the majority of the contract to date. He went a combined 5-18 in his 2 seasons in Seattle, with an ERA over 6. The fact that the Cubs received $9 M, and make the net contract for Silva to be $15 M over the next 2 years is really the only saving grace in my opinion. But if the trade improves the feel in the clubhouse, then it may prove to be worth it.

The Mariners
The Mariners have been looking desperately for some offense. The fact that they were able to turn Carlos Silva and his bloated salary into a potentially useful player is telling of the quality of GM Jack Zduriencik. Bradley, when producing, is a top-flight outfielder capable of providing power, speed, and solid on base percentage. I believe that Bradley may have his best chance at being a non-influence in the clubhouse in Seattle. With positive influences Ken Griffey Jr, Ichiro, and Chone Figgins, at worst he should be nullified in terms of a negative clubhouse presence.

MY WINNER: Mariners