It's never too early to start talking about trading Milton Bradley. Enter San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers, a.k.a., "Tampering Towers," for his willingness to push the envelope when it comes to violating MLB's regulations about tampering with other teams' players. It was thanks to Towers that the Jake Peavy trade talks got so much play last fall, leading up to the winter meetings. Now, we apparently have Tampering Towers talking about possibly being interested in Milton:
Veteran baseball writer Jerry Crasnick of espn.com has the story, in which he quotes Towers as saying: "I haven't had any calls from Jim (Cubs GM Hendry) about him. But I think people kind of know what players we target. We have to take chances sometimes. We took a chance on Milton the first time we had him, and he actually played pretty well...."
The Pads had Milton for part of 2007, when his season ended with a torn knee ligament, the result of an argument with an umpire, for which the ump bore most of the blame. (See, it's not always Milton's fault.) Milton battied .313 in 42 games with San Diego. He hit 11 homers in drove in 30.
Usually, baseball execs don't like it when another GM talks about specific players, but Trader Jim no doubt feels Tampering Towers is doing him a favor. Maybe somebody else will jump in, and maybe, just maybe, the Cubs won't have to take such a big hit on the two years and $21 million they still owe Milton from the ill-advised three-year, $30 million deal Trade Jim handed him last winter.
San Diego would seem to be the "supportive" environment Milton says he needs.
"San Diego is different than Chicago," Towers told espn.com.
I never noticed.
Anyway, the Cubs are in San Francisco tonight with a beauty of a pitching matchup featuring Big Z against Tim Lincecum. Cubs go this way:
D-Lee is out of the lineup, the result of the neck injury he suffered last night in a double-whammy. He apparently hurt his troublesome neck stealing second base in the ninth inning. After Jeff Baker hit the go-ahead homer, Lee got a little celebratory head slap from Angel Guzman in the dugout.
Koyie Hill makes his second straight start behind the plate. Geovany Soto is 2-for-21 on the trip. Hoffpauir is 5-for-17 on the trip. Baker is 9-for-24 with 4 RBI, including the big 2 last night. Fukudome has a three-game hitting streak, during which he's 6-for-13.