Milton Bradley Brings His Game to Oakland

What are the A's thinking? Well, probably the same thing Depodesta was thinking when he traded for Bradley when he was the D-ger's GM: that you don't look at a gift horse in the mouth. However, what a mouth on that horse! He's like that Michigan J. Frog from that classic Warner Brothers cartoon, the one the construction worker thinks will make him a fortune only to disappoint him to the point of basically giving it away to the next person who thinks he'll make a fortune.

Just looking over the incidents happening each and every year makes me cringe. Bradley is an accident looking for a point of impact and he will disrupt the Oakland vaunted loosey goosey clubhouse that Beane always tout. How they cannot see that, I don't know, Beane (and Depodesta) probably just looks at his numbers and salivate over getting that for a lower-level (though promising) hitting prospect plus Beane got a cheap infielder to boot, though he sounds like he's another Ginter in that he's all hit and no field, so if he doesn't hit, like Ginter, well, it won't go according to plan.

Either way the Giants win. Bradley on the team probably would have been a "T.O." level of disruptive influence with his running feud with Jeff Kent. That had to affect their team in 2005. Bradley off the team means that the D-gers now have to figure out how to replace Bradley offensive production which was a good combo with Kent and Drew (assuming Drew even plays regularly, what was Depodesta thinking with him?) . There's no one out on the market who really is qualified in that way and the ones who were - Konerko and Giles - passed on the D-gers riches for some home cooking. This means the D-gers will have to trade for him.

Lucky for them, they have a well regarded farm system, but then trading them away to get the players they need will probably deplete their farm system and empty the pipeline for homegrown players in the near-term, basically the strategy the Giants have been employing under Sabean. That's a win again for Giants fans, looking forward, though balanced against them improving themselves both 2006 and perhaps beyond.

But they have a lot of holes from what I've been reading in blogs and articles: starting pitching (they were sniffing around Loaiza and Morris as well), 3B (just filled by Mueller but he has hit horribly at Dodger Stadium for his career), 1B, OF, backup catcher, bullpen. And they don't have that many prospects that they can just go and try to fill all of these holes, so they will have to make due with what they can get. Plus Drew is probably going to miss a significant number of games again, it is almost an annual rite for him (except for his contract year, luckily enough for him). Lastly, Furcal signing to the contrary, I've seen nothing to suggest that the D-gers have a lot of budget to sign players or that they can spend willy-nilly, but do know that McCourt is hocked up to his ears buying the D-gers (debt is around 95-99% of the value of the club) and the rumors have been that he will need to cut budget - if Fox needed to cut budget when they were owners, and they have deeper pockets, I don't see how McCourt, hocked up to his ears, is going to be able to outspend a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Thus, the D-gers should go into 2006 with some unfilled holes needing to be filled by inexperienced prospects or garbage free agents left over at the end of the Hot Stove session to be signed cheaply. And that's good for Giants fans, not only will they be undermanned, but that means one less able-body competitor for the Giants for the NL West pennant (not that there were any last season).


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