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Monday, September 21, 2009

Mets and Milton Bradley: Don't sink my Battleship

"Battleship" is one of the products of the Milton Bradley game company. In the game, players call out random squares in a grid, hoping to hit one of their opponents' ships. Firing blindly has characterized too much of the Mets' strategy over the years. But trading for Milton Bradley would be even worse - it would be like somehow shooting at your own battleships.

Some are speculating that the Mets could try to trade Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo for suspended Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley.

Such speculation assumes two things - first, that Castillo or Perez should be gotten rid of at any cost - and second, that Bradley is worth getting.

In fact, the opposite is probably true. Even putting aside the off-the-field issues, Bradley has less of a chance of having a good season next year as do Perez or Castillo.

Perez won 15 games only two years ago. He is still young with enormous potential. There has also been speculation of trying to trade Perez for Carlos Zambrano, which makes a lot more sense, since you get back a similarly young, talented pitcher having trouble living up to his potential. (Thought the Mets have not exactly done well trading for pitchers named Zambrano.)

Castillo might be overpaid, but at least he hit for a high average and played a serviceable second base this year.

In 2008, Bradley made the All-Star team as a Ranger, but playing in Texas really helped his stats. Bradley hit .358 with an OPS of 1.145 and 16 homers in 236 AB at home. On the road, he hit .290 with an OPS of .872 and six homers in 273 AB.

Bradley also played the bulk of the season at DH for Texas.

An injury-prone player who is better off at DH? Bradley would fit right in to the current Met team.

But as far as building for the future, Bradley did not even put up better stats than those he would replace. Gary Sheffield had equivalent power numbers in far fewer at bats, and his overall numbers were actually better than Bradley's:

Bradley
473 AB; 12 HR; 40 RBI; .257 BA; .775 OPS

Sheffield
267 AB; 10 HR; 43 RBI; .277 BA; .822 OPS

Daniel Murphy's 2009 numbers are not adequate for a corner infielder. But Murphy, in coincidentally the same number of at-bats, has similar numbers to Bradley:

Murphy
473 AB; 55 R; 10 HR; 60 RBI; .264 BA; .731 OPS

So putting the off-the-field stuff aside, Bradley is not a good bet. But you cannot put that stuff aside, not when Bradley has had so many chances with so many different teams. As Lisa points out in a piece for The Faster Times, Bradley only found peace in the small media market of Arlington.

Met fans have suffered enough this year without having to worry about having Milton Bradley on the team.

But the Mets also need to overhaul their medical operation, so this Milton Bradley product could come in handy.

Battleship photo by kalebdf.

Operation photo by Erik Mallinson.

1 comment:

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Maybe Milton Bradley can play wide receiver for the NY Giants.