Posts Tagged ‘Milton Bradley’

Seattle Mariners Bring In Eric Byrnes

January 30, 2010

One of the first posts I had ever written on The Ghost of Moonlight Graham last December was that the New York Mets should trade for Eric Byrnes. At the time–and I still believe this–the Mets needed a player likes Byrnes.

Byrnes is a gritty, hard-nosed, gamer who is great for any team’s clubhouse. I thought the Mets could use a personality like Byrnes to help bring their team together. Now, a little over a year later, he was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Byrnes hopes to be sliding for the Mariners in 2010

Any team was free to sign the 33-year-old.

Since Arizona is paying Byrnes’ salary in 2010 ($11 million), any team could have had Byrnes for the league minimum. The team that is hoping Byrnes’ hard-nosed attitude helps them next season is the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners signed Byrnes yesterday to a one-year deal. If Byrnes makes the team out of spring training he will serve as a backup outfielder along with Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders.

There is also the possibility that if the Mariners don’t add another outfielder this offseason, Byrnes and Langerhans could form a platoon in left field for Seattle. I am guessing the Mariners don’t want Milton Bradley in left field too often.

This is a good low-risk signing by the Mariners. Remember, this is a guy who just two years ago finished 11th in the National League MVP voting with a .286 average with 21 home runs and 50 stolen bases in 160 games.

Byrnes will be entering his 11th season in the majors and has a career .260 average with 109 home runs, 128 stolen bases, and a .763 OPS with the Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, and Diamondbacks.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Starting Nine: American League West

January 13, 2010

The next division up in our Starting Nine series is the American League West. This division has undergone the most change from top to bottom this offseason, so it will be interesting to see which lineup looks the best headed into the season.

Here are the starting lineups as presently constructed for the American League West:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Bobby Abreu, RF

3. Torii Hunter, CF

4. Kendry Morales, 1B

5. Hideki Matsui, DH

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Juan Rivera, LF

8. Brandon Wood, 3B

9. Mike Napoli, C

Quick Take – This lineup will miss Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup to an expect, but despite the Angels’ losses, this lineup is still pretty deep. Any lineup that has Napoli batting ninth should be able to score some runs.

Seattle Mariners

1. Ichiro, RF

2. Chone Figgins, 3B

3. Milton Bradley, LF

4. Jose Lopez, 2B

5. Ken Griffey Jr. DH

6. Franklin Gutierrez, CF

7. Casey Kotchman, 1B

8. Jack Wilson, SS

9. Rob Johnson, C

Quick Take – This lineup after the first four hitters is pretty bad. I don’t care how many runs you prevent in the field, you need to score runs to win. The Mariners need a better DH than Griffey Jr.

Texas Rangers

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Michael Young, 3B

3. Josh Hamilton, LF

4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH

5. Nelson Cruz, RF

6. Chris Davis, 1B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Elvis Andrus, SS

9. Julio Borbon, CF

Quick Take – I love this lineup. I like Borbon in the nine-hole acting like a second leadoff hitter at the bottom of the lineup. The key to this lineup will be health.

Oakland A’s

1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Rajai Davis, LF

3. Ryan Sweeney, RF

4. Jack Cust, DH

5. Daric Barton, 1B

6. Kurt Suzuki, C

7. Eric Chavez, 3B

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Quick Take – This is the worst in the American League (yes, worse than the Kansas City Royals) and perhaps the worst in baseball. There isn’t a guy in this lineup that would start on the Baltimore Orioles. Michael Taylor better make it to the A’s soon.

Tomorrow, I will dive into the National League and look at the National League East.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Mariners Steal Milton Bradley From Cubs

December 18, 2009

Chicago area deep dish pizza places beware–Carlos Silva is coming to town!

According to various sources, the Seattle Mariners have traded RHP pitcher Carlos Silva to the Chicago Cubs for OF Milton Bradley. This is essentially a swap of contracts as Silva has two years and $25 million remaining on his deal and Bradley has two years and $21 million remaining on his deal.

This is a heist by Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik.

I know Bradley could be insane. I know Bradley could be a lunatic. And I know he clearly has some issues that go beyond the game of baseball.

But Bradley has value. Even if Bradley just gets one hit and drives in one run in 2010, he will be more valuable for Seattle than Silva would have been.

Bradley is headed to Seattle

I actually think Bradley will do well in Seattle. Bradley needs to play in a place where the fans are not on top of you like they are in Chicago or New York, and Seattle is just that.

The Mariners have a good clubhouse, Ken Griffey Jr. is will be there to be a mentor, and Bradley won’t be bothered by the media like he was in Chicago.

He will be the Mariners’ primary DH with a sprinkling of left field in 2010 and will be asked just to hit. Something he did quite well with the Texas Rangers in 2008.

Bradley hit just .257 with 12 home runs and a .775 OPS for the Cubs last season. However, the year before with Texas, Bradley hit .321 with 22 home runs and led the American League with a .999 OPS.

I think Bradley could fall somewhere in between his 2008 and 2009 seasons with Seattle in 2010. If Bradley hit around .275 with a .380 OBP and a .830 OPS, the Mariners’ lineup will get some much needed depth.

That is why this trade is such a heist for the Mariners. Bradley has potential. Silva is the most useless pitcher in the game. He would have never seen the field for the Mariners.

Now Silva and his 8.60 ERA from 2009 is the Cubs’ problem.

Listen, I know the Cubs had to trade Bradley. There was no way he could come back in 2010. But GM Jim Hendry really screwed this one up–as usual.

Hendry was screwing around with the Tampa Bay Rays for the last two months trying to figure out a way to do a Pat Burrell for Bradley swap. He kept trying to stick a round peg in a square hole in Tampa and the deal was never going to work.

In that time he missed out on Curtis Granderson and Mike Cameron–two prime center field options for the Cubs.

What he should have done is either figured out a way to send Bradley to the Rays or he should have called Zduriencik two months ago and gotten a deal done then.

If your entire offseason is dependent on trading one player–then you have to trade him right away–no matter what.

At least if they would have gotten Burrell from the Rays, Burrell still has some value. Silva has no value what so ever.

The Cubs have been held hostage by Bradley and now they are looking at guys like Rick Ankiel or Marlon Byrd to play center field. Neither should excite a Cubs fan.

The Cubs will also get $9 million from the Mariners over the next two years. However, it doesn’t matter.

This was a steal by the Mariners.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Milton Bradley: What’s His Trade Market?

November 20, 2009

On January 6th, 2009 Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry signed OF Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30 million contract.

At that point everyone screamed “Nooooooooooooo!!!” This was a disaster waiting to happen and it was.

Not only did Bradley grossly under perform in a Cubs’ uniform, but on Sept. 20, Bradley was suspended for the rest of the season because of conduct detrimental to the team.

Bradley was a disaster in Chicago

“Recently, it’s become intolerable to hear Milton talk about our great fans the way he has,” Hendry said. “We pride ourselves on having the greatest fans in baseball, so at this time we felt it was best to send him home for the rest of the season.”

Now almost one year later, Hendry is looking to ship Bradley out of town. Who would possibly take on Bradley and his contract?

Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons of Bradley and what teams would be interested in trading for the beleaguered outfielder.

Pros

If there is one thing that has been consistent with Bradley’s play on the field throughout his career, it’s that the man knows how to work the count.

Bradley had a .378 OBP in 2009, which ranked him fifth amongst all major league right fielders. For his career, Bradley has a .377 OBP including leading the American League in OBP with a .436 mark with the Texas Rangers in 2008.

And while Bradley’s overall numbers were down in 2009, there was a period in the season where Bradley was doing what he was brought in to do–hit. From May 1st-August 31st, Bradley hit .281 with a .402 OBP.

He had his best month in August when he hit .308 with a .911 OPS.

Bradley is also only 31-years-old. Doesn’t it seem like Bradley should be older than that? I feel like he has been around forever.

But at 31, Bradley should still have a lot left in the tank.

Cons

Where do I begin? Outside of his one year in Texas, Bradley has been a problem everywhere he has been.

You name the place and you can name an incident where Bradley has cost himself a long-term contract. There is a reason why this guy hasn’t been on a team for longer than two years.

Not only does Bradley have a tough time staying on one team, but he has a hard time staying on the field once he is on that team. The most games he has played in one season is 141 with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2004.

He is an injury waiting to happen.

And of course, there is the issue of his contract. Bradley has two years and $21 million remaining on his contract. Is a team really going to take on that salary and have the risk of Bradley losing his mind 50 games into the season?

Now that we looked at the pros and cons of Bradley, let’s take a look at what teams would be interested in trading for the former Expo, Indian, Dodger, A, Padre, and Ranger.

Texas Rangers: The one place where Bradley really thrived was Texas. There has been a lot of talk recently of a reunion between Bradley and the Rangers.

Texas is a perfect place for Bradley. There is no pressure, the fans really don’t care, and Bradley can just come to the ball park and attempt to play baseball.

Bradley could serve as the Rangers’ DH, while Nelson Cruz plays left, Julio Borbon plays center, and Josh Hamilton plays right.

Tampa Bay Rays: There was talk earlier in this offseason of a Bradley for Pat Burrell swap. Outside of trading down year for down year, I really didn’t understand the trade for either team.

Burrell is less of a headache than Bradley and is more than capable of having a bounce back year in 2010.

And while Tampa is another good spot for Bradley to go (see Rangers above) and Bradley would present an upgrade in right field over Gabe Gross, I am just don’t see it happening.

Outside of those two destinations, I am not sure what team would have an interest in Bradley. Hendry has really dug himself a hole with Bradley.

However, I am going to say there is a 75 percent chance of the Cubs trading him just because they have to. I don’t think there is any way they can bring him back in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Curtis Granderson: What’s His Trade Market?

November 12, 2009

One of the biggest shocks coming out of this weeks general manager’s meeting in Chicago was that the Detroit Tigers have let it be known that OF Curtis Granderson could be had in a trade.

This was shocking to everyone because I don’ think the word trade and Granderson have ever been used in the same sentence. Why would the Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski look to trade Granderson?

Here are some of the contracts the Tigers are paying in 2010:

Nate Robertson: $10 million

Dontrelle Willis: $12 million

Carlos Guillen: $13 million

Jeremy Bonderman: $12.5 million

Magglio Ordonez: $18 million

That’s *$65.5 million committed in 2010 to a bunch of players who probably aren’t worth $15 million. Since those contracts are untradeable, the Tigers are looking to trade some of their more valuable pieces.

Curtis Granderson

Granderson could be on another team in 2010

Hence, the Granderson and Edwin Jackson trade rumors.

For a GM to say a player can be had and for him to actually trade that player are two different things. But if a team were to look into trading for Granderson, what are they getting?

I did this last month with Brad Hawpe, so let’s now look at the trade market for Granderson. What are his pros, his cons, and what teams could be interested in the Tigers’ center fielder.

Pro’s

I think we can all agree on that Granderson is one of the great ambassadors for the game of baseball. He is extremely smart, he extremely well spoken, he has worked for TBS during the playoffs, and has traveled all across Europe promoting baseball.

Off the field, he is everything a team would want.

On the field, he is no slouch either.  Last year, he set a career high with 30 home runs and continues to be one of the better defensive center fielders in the game. He also is one of the more durable outfielders in the game as he has averaged 155 games played over the last four years.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Granderson is his contract. Granderson is due only $5.5 million in 2010, $8.25 million in 2011, and $10 million in 2012. Granderson also has a club option for $13 million in 2013.

That is a very reasonable contract for a guy who is only 28-years-old and in the prime of his career.

Cons

While Granderson’s power numbers have increased over the last two years, everything else offensively seems to have declined.

His average has gone from .302 to .280 to .249 in the last three years

His OPS has gone from .913 t0 .858 to .780 in the last three years

His walk percentage decreased from 11.4 percent in 2008 to 10.2 percent in 2009. Not good for a leadoff hitter.

You really have to start wondering if Granderson thinks he is a legit power hitter? His groundball percentage was 29.5 percent in 2009. By far and away the lowest of his career.

It’s like he has Willie “Mays” Hayes syndrome.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Granderson, now let’s take a look at what teams would be interested in trading for Granderson.

Chicago Cubs: Anytime you have Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley manning the corner outfield spots, you have one of the worst outfield defenses in baseball.

Granderson would give the Cubs a plus outfielder and someone who could track down balls that Soriano and Bradley couldn’t get to. Kosuke Fukudome is basically a fourth outfielder at this point.

Born in Illinois, Granderson would be perfect for the Cubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks: If the Diamondbacks are willing to pick up Brandon Webb’s $8.5 million option and they are looking to sign pitchers on multi-year deals this offseason, then trading for Granderson is not the craziest thing in the world.

A Chris Young for Granderson swap might make sense for both teams. Granderson would bring leadership to the Diamonbacks locker room, which is something they desperately need with all of their young talent.

Young would provide a young, low-cost replacement for Granderson.

New York Yankees: Granderson would be a great fit in the media capitol of the world. He would also be a major upgrade over Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner. Both of whom are fourth outfielders.

A package including David Robertson would be a good start for the Tigers.

Texas Rangers: With Marlon Byrd and Andruw Jones free agents, the Rangers could use a center fielder. Now, they do have Julio Borbon who can play center field and they could put David Murphy in left and Nelson Cruz in right in 2010.

But if they can get Granderson, then they can put him in center, put Borbon in left, and Cruz in right. This would give the Rangers a superior fielding outfield and would allow Murphy to move into a outfield/platoon roll.

Of course, in both scenarios Josh Hamilton would be the DH for the Rangers.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox need a center fielder, but there is a better chance of me playing center field for the White Sox than Granderson.

What is fascinating, is that if this was five years ago the Tigers would have no problem finding a suitor for Granderson. But now, there are so many teams who have young, good center fielders, that the market for a player like Granderson is pretty thin.

There is probably more talent now at the center field position than there has been in the last 25 years. From Grady Sizemore to Drew Stubbs to Matt Kemp to Andrew McCutchen, baseball is flooded with talented center fielders.

I am going to say, at the end of the day,  there is a 10 percent chance Granderson gets traded.

*All contract information was supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


Brad Hawpe: What’s His Trade Market?

October 14, 2009

When Troy Tulowitzki struckout on that nasty slider from Brad Lidge, the Colorado Rockies’ offseason officially began. Just like with every team, the Rockies face some difficult offseason decisions.

One of those difficult decisions for the Rockies is whether or not to trade RF Brad Hawpe. 

The Rockies also have a surplus of young, talented outfielders. Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler, and Carlos Gonzalez seem to have the three outfield spots locked down for 2010.

Hawpe could be dealt this winter

Hawpe could be dealt this winter

And with Hawpe due *$7.5 million in 2010 and having a club option for $10 million in 2011 (if Hawpe is traded, he can void the 2011 club option), Hawpe seems to be the odd man out in Colorado.

I think the Rockies will make every effort to trade the 2009 All-Star. But what type of player are they trading and who would be interested in Hawpe?

Let’s a look at Hawpe and what he brings to the table…

Positives

Hawpe is a remarkably consistent offensive player. For the last four years, Hawpe has averaged .288/.384/.518 with 25 HR’s in 146 games. And if you look at his numbers on a year to year basis–he does that every year.

It’s kind of freaky to be honest.

Hawpe also crushes right-handed pitching. In 357 AB’s against right-handed pitching in 2009, Hawpe hit .303/.403/.552 with 17 HR’s.

And for those of you who think Hawpe is just a product of Coors Field–he is not. He hit more HR’s on the road in 2009 than he did at home (14 to nine). For his career, Hawpe has hit 54 HR’s at home and 57 on the road.

Also, his OPS for his career at home is .887 and on the road is .864. Not much difference.

Negatives

While Hawpe might a remarkably consistent offensive player, his defense is flat-out offensive. He might be one of the worst defensive RF’s in baseball.

His UZR/150 in 2009 was -19.5, which puts him amongst the bottom of major league RF’s. What ever he brings to the table offensively, he takes away from it with his defense.

Hawpe can’t hit left-handed pitching. Hawpe’s career OPS vs. left-handed pitching is 158 points lower than it is against right-handed pitching. If Hawpe plays against a lefty and with his defense, you might as well just bring back Terry Shumpert to play the OF.

Here is another thing that bothers me about Hawpe and is a negative. Every time the Rockies are in prime time, Hawpe just disappears. He only has two extra-base hits in 42 career postseason AB’s.

How telling was it that Hawpe only got four AB’s against the Phillies in four games? He was one of the Rockies best offensive players throughout the year and he didn’t even sniff the batter’s box in the postseason.

Jim Tracy didn’t even go to Hawpe against righties. He used Jason Giambi as his primary left-handed pinch hitter off the bench.

Now that we looked at Hawpe as a player, what teams would be interested in trading for Hawpe? Here are some teams that makes potentially make sense for Hawpe…

Boston Red Sox – If they don’t re-sign Jason Bay and Matt Holliday re-signs with the St. Louis Cardinals, who is going to play LF for the Red Sox? If the Red Sox could live with Bay’s defense in LF, they could certainly live with Hawpe in left.

New York Mets – The Mets are desperate for any type of power infusion and need a left fielder. However, having an OF of Hawpe, Carlos Beltran (bad knees), and Jeff Francoeur (-3.2 UZR/150) means a lot of balls will be dropping in at cavernous Citi Field.

Chicago Cubs – The Cubs will do their best to trade Milton Bradley this offseason, leaving a hole in right field. Hawpe could give the Cubs the left-handed power hitter they have wanted since last year.

Atlanta Braves – If the Braves had their perfect world, their OF in June of 2010 would look like Nate McLouth in left, Jordan Schafer in center, and Jason Heyward in right.

If the Braves feel Schafer is still not ready for prime time yet, the Braves could look to Hawpe to take over for Garrett Anderson in left.

Kansas City Royals – The Royals need some offense and the Rockies would like some young relief pitching. Dayton Moore trades young relievers for DH-types all the time.

One of the issues the Rockies would run into if they decide to trade Hawpe is that there are a lot of DH-type players (Carlos Delgado, Russell Branyan, Hank Blalock, etc…) available on the open market this winter. Why would an American League GM trade prospects and add salary, when they can just add salary via free agency?

Hawpe figures to be one of the most talked about names on the trade market this winter. We will just have to wait and find out if the Rockies trade their right-handed crushing, poor fielding right fielder.

*All contract information was supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

10 Things We Learned About Baseball In September

October 1, 2009

The best season of the year is here kids — Spring. Crisp air, leaves turning, temperatures in the 60’s (unless you live in Detroit, then they are in the 30’s) and of course pennant race baseball.

Are we going to get the classic pennant race that goes down to the last day of the season like we saw in 2007 and 2008? Probably not. But the NL Wild Card race between the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies and the AL Central race between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins gave us plenty to be excited about.

September was a great month for baseball fans. Here are the top-10 things we learned about baseball in September…

10. Ichiro can flat-out hit. On September 13th, Ichiro became the first player in major league history to record 200 hits nine straight seasons.

Ichiro is easily in the top-five of the best pure hitters that I have ever seen (last 25 years). He is right up there with Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Edgar Martinez, and Paul Molitor.

Ichiro is unquestionably a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The only question that remains is when it is all said and done, is Ichiro the greatest hitter of all-time?

Speaking guys who get base hits…

9. Chris Coghlan is hitting his way to NL ROY.Guess who lead baseball in hits in September? Derek Jeter? Nope. Ichiro? Nope. Joe Mauer? Nope. It was Florida Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan had 47 hits in September with a .382 avg. and a .925 OPS. Coghlan is making a strong push for NL Rookie of the Year.

While Ichiro and Coghlan can hit the baseball…

Reynolds is strikeout king once again

Reynolds is strikeout king once again

8. Mark Reynolds has a hard time making contact. Arizona Diamondbacks 3B Mark Reynolds broke his own record for strikeouts in a single season when he struck out three times against the San Francisco Giants giving him 205 K’s.

Reynolds’ previous mark for strikeouts was 204, which he set last season.

I, for one, thought this was no big deal. Reynolds is having a phenomenal season. Reynolds has 44 homeruns, 101 RBI, 24 SB’s, a .552 slugging percentage, and a .902 OPS.

Reynolds plays on the Diamondbacks, who are having a terrible season. But not as bad as this team…

7. The Washington Nationals will have the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft. The Nationals will finish the 2009 season with the worst record in baseball. There reward? They will have the first pick in the 2010 draft.

All signs point to Bryce Harper being the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.

The Nationals fired manager Manny Acta earlier in the season. These two teams fired their managers in September…

6. Cecil Cooper and Eric Wedge were handed their walking papers. The Houston Astros fired Cooper with 13 games left in the regular season. When Cooper was fired by the Astros, the Astros were in fourth place and 16.5 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals.

Yesterday, the Cleveland Indians fired Wedge with just six games to go. Wedge was 560-568 with one playoff appearance in seven seasons with the Indians. Wedge will finish out the season with the Indians, but him and his staff will not be retained after the season ends.

Staying with Central Division news…

5. The Chicago Cubs suspend Milton Bradley. Is it me or did everyone on the planet see this coming except for Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry? Bradley has been awful with the Cubs in 2009.

The Cubs suspended Bradley because of negative comments he made about the fans in Chicago.

Despite having a .378 OBP, Bradley only hit .257 and had a pathetic .397 slugging percentage.

So much for adding some left-handed pop to the lineup.

While the Cubs floundered in 2009…

4. The Atlanta Braves surged in September. Somebody forget to tell the Braves they were out of it in September. In a 19-game stretch they went 15-4 and pulled within two games of the Wild Card leading Rockies.

Many Braves fans envisioned the Braves doing to the Rockies what the Rockies did to the San Diego Padres in 2007. However, the Braves playoff chances are on life support after losing back-to-back games against the Marlins.

On the subject of playoff races…

The Twins missed Morneau in September

The Twins missed Morneau in September

3. The AL Central race heated up. Despite losing MVP candidate Justin Morneau, the Twins have been able to hang with the Tigers neck and neck throughout September.

The Twins entered this weeks HUGE four-game series just two games behind the Tigers. After winning the first game in 10 innings 3-2, the Twins have dropped two in a row to the Tigers — putting their season on life support.

The Tigers can clinch the AL Central crown with a win today over the Twins.

If the Tigers win the AL Central, they will have to face these two in the first-round of the playoffs…

2. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each record 200 hits. With over 200 hits apiece, Jeter and Cano became the first middle infield duo to each collect 200 hits in a season.

I am not surprised this has never been done before considering that I would say before 1995 — shortstops and second baseman weren’t considered offensive players. Sure you had your Eddie Collins’, Roberto Alomar’s, Charlie Gehringer’s, and Cal Ripken’s of the world, but they were rarely paired up with anyone who could hit.

That is what made Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker so special for their era. They were two middle infielders who could hit and field.

Speaking of Yankees, the No.1 thing we learned about baseball in September was…

Jeter is headed to the playoffs yet again

Jeter is headed to the playoffs yet again

1. Six teams punched their ticket to October. The New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies will all be battling it out for a World Series title.

I thought last year’s playoff matchups were pretty easy to predict. This year? The way the matchups are shaping up, I have no clue who is going to win.

Here is what I do know. When I write my October recap, we will have a World Series champion and all the questions we have had since March will be answered.

I will be writing my first-round preview with predictions next Tuesday.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Chicago Cubs Suspend Milton Bradley

September 21, 2009

According to ESPNChicago.com, the Chicago Cubs have suspended OF Milton Bradley for the remainder of the season. The Cubs suspended Bradley because of comments he made about there being too much negativety in Chicago.

Bradley has been suspended by the Cubs

Bradley has been suspended by the Cubs

Is it me or did everyone on the planet see this coming except for Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry? Even my sister, who knows as much about baseball as the table I am writing this post on, saw this coming.

Sorry Jen, but it is true.

Bradley said, “It’s just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. … It’s just negativity.” Really Milton? When are you going to realize it’s you–not the fans.

Bradley has been in the league now since 2000. Since then he has played on the Montreal Expos, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, and the Chicago Cubs. That’s seven teams in 10 years for those of you scoring at home.

Bradley has worn out his welcome everywhere he has been. Now he has worn out his welcome in Chicago. My guess is Hendry will do everything he can to trade Bradley in the offseason. The Cubs will have to eat the majority of Bradley’s salary on the remaining two years left on his contract because no team is going to pay this idiot as much as the Cubs are.

Bradley has had a terrible year for the Cubs. He is batting a stellar .257 with just 12 HR’s and 40 RBI.

But I guess  it’s the fans fault.

2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team

September 16, 2009

With most teams having roughly 18-20 games left on their schedule, I think its’ safe to say we know by now which players were surprises and which players were busts in 2009.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the All-Fantasy Breakout Team. As for today, I think we will take a look at who were the fantasy busts in 2009.

These are the players who owners drafted very high in hopes that these players would lead their team to fantasy supremacy in 2009. Instead, these players fell flat on their faces because of various reasons and cost owners hundreds of dollars.

Without any further adieu, here is the 2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team sponsored by the Julio Lugo, Co. “Nobody Knows Sucking Like A Lugo.”

Honorable Mentions – Chris Iannetta, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, JJ Hardy, Rick Ankiel, Kevin Gregg, Garrett Atkins, Lance Berkman, Alfonso Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Jake Peavy

CatcherGeovany Soto, .222/10/40

After winning the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year award with a .285/23/86 hitting line, many owners expected a repeat performance from Soto in 2009. Not so much.

Davis has not lived up to the hype

Davis has not lived up to the hype

First Base – Chris Davis, .216/19/49

This was a close call between Lance Berkman and Chris Davis, but because Davis was so ridiculously over-hyped, Davis wins it. Everyone’s preseason man-crush has fallen flat on his face in 2009.

Things got so bad for Davis that he was sent to the minors in the middle of the season. That my friends, is a bust.

Second Base – Mike Fontenot, .232/9/40

Second base was the hardest position to pick a fantasy bust because so many two-baggers are either having breakout years or their typical years. Fontenot on the other hand, is having neither.

At this point in the season, Fontenot has roughly 100 more AB’s than last year and has the same amount of HR’s (nine), RBI (40), six less runs scored, and his average is 72 points lower than last years.

Not what the Cubs or fantasy owners were expecting this year.

Shortstop – Jose Reyes, .279/2/15

I had a dilemma with this pick. Do I pick the guy who has just sucked all year in JJ Hardy? Or do I pick the guy who has missed the majority of the year with an injury in Jose Reyes?

I will go with Reyes because Reyes, who was taken in the first two rounds in most leagues and crippled a lot of fantasy teams this year. Reyes went on the DL on May 26th and was never heard from again.

Third Base – Alex Gordon, .202/4/12

This was supposed to be the breakout year for Alex Gordon. That’s what I was telling myself when I drafted Gordon in my league. Instead, 2009 has been a disaster for the Royals young third baseman.

Gordon got off to an awful start in April, then had hip surgery, came back, got sent to the minors, and now is back up again. I am not even sure if Gordon is worth keeping in my Keeper League at this point.

Outfield – Milton Bradley, .260/12/39

It seemed like everyone knew this was going to happen except Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry. Bradley is like the movie GI Joe. Sure, we all knew it was going to suck, but we kind of wanted to see it any way just to see how bad it was going to be.

I mean 39 RBI in 121 games? Pathetic

Outfield – Josh Hamilton, .270/10/49

Hamilton was the feel good story of the 2008 season. His performance in the HR Derby was stuff of legend and he put up a .304/32/130 hitting line.

2009 has been a lost season for Hamilton. He has been hurt the majority of the year and really never found his groove at the plate.

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, .296/7/40

From 2006-2008, Ordonez averaged 24 HR’s and 115 RBI. In 2009, Ordonez’s power has vanished faster than the storyline’s on Entourage.

Very puzzling how Ordonez has kept his average up, but has lost all his power.

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Starting Pitcher – Francisco Liriano, 5-12 with a 5.71 ERA

Like Alex Gordon previously, this was supposed to be the year for Liriano. He was two years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Minnesota Twins were expected to compete in the AL Central, and at 25, Liriano was going to mature into an ace.

None of the above happened. Liriano is one of the main reasons the Twins are not in first place and is now pitching out of the bullpen

Starting Pitcher – Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA

Matsuzaka won 18 games in 2008. Going into last night’s action, Matsuzaka has won a grand total of 1 game in 2009.

Fantasy owners can thank Bud Selig’s marketing ploy, otherwise known as the World Baseball Classic for this.

Starting Pitcher – Brandon Webb, 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA

Last year, Webb was 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young voting for the second year in a row. All fantasy owners got out of Webb this year, was one lousy start.

Webb was the third overall pick in my league and in most leagues went in the first two rounds. If your first or second pitcher taken doesn’t win a game during the season, it usually spells doom for your team.

Closer – Brad Lidge, 0-7 with a 7.18 ERA and 10 blown saves

Despite having 29 saves this year, Lidge has been a fantasy disaster all season. He doesn’t have a win, he leads the majors in blown saves, and has killed fantasy owners all year long in the ERA category. His WHIP is 1.823 which is not helping the situation either.

Benching All-Stars All The Rage In Baseball This Year…

June 26, 2009

Has there ever been a year that you can remember where so many All-Star caliber players have been benched? First it was David Ortiz, then it was Garrett Atkins, then Magglio Ordonez, and now it is Jimmy Rollins, and Milton Bradley. It has gotten to a point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albert Pujols benched. Well, I don’t think it will ever get that far, but I think you get my point.

According to MLB.com, Phillies shortstop and former MVP Jimmy Rollins has been benched for two games by manager Charlie Manuel. Rollins sat out last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays and will sit on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rollins has been terrible this year

Rollins has been terrible this year

This has to be alarming for Philly fans. Rollins is batting just .211 with with a Rafael Santana-like .254 OBP this year. Manuel even moved Rollins to the six hole, and that hasn’t worked either. Rollins is just 7-for-56 since moving to that spot in the order.

It is really starting to look like Rollin’s 2007 MVP season, where he hit .296 with 30 HR’s and had 96 RBI was a career year and will never be reached again. A .275/.285 avg. with 10-15 HR’s is probably more where Rollins should be every year.

I can’t imagine Rollins being this bad for this long. He is in no way a .211 hitter. I am going to venture to say that Rollins has a huge second half and turns this around.

The other All-Star caliber player that was benched recently was Chicago Cubs’ OF Milton Bradley. According to Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun Times, Bradley will be riding the pine until Saturday.

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Bradley, who signed a three year, $30MM contract with the Cubs in the offseason has been a disaster so far. I didn’t like this move when it happened, and it is even looking worse now. Bradley is batting just .241 with five HR’s and 16 RBI in 55 games for the Cubs this year.

How is Bobby Abreu looking now Jim Hendry?

With a player like Jimmy Rollins, I expect a turn around. With Milton Bradley, I have no idea what to expect. He could flip out, he could start ripping the ball like he did last year when he had a .321 avg., or he could just continue to be terrible. Who knows with this guy. That is why giving a three contract to a guy who is an enigma was such a risky move.

That is all the benching talk for now. With the way this season is going, I am sure we will be adding to this list of All-Star caliber players who have lost it at the plate this year.