I sat in on Jim Hendry’s conference call on the Milton Bradley-Carlos Silva trade, and sensed obvious relief on his part over being able to get rid of a player they were no longer able to tolerate on their roster.
“In hindsight, obviously it’s an acquisition I’m responsible for, and it didn’t work out. I bear responsibility for that,” Hendry said. “Our intent was to get a quality offensive player that was a switch-hitter and had been outstanding for a few years before we got him.”
Bradley had numerous problems during the season and was suspended in September.
“In this case, it didn’t work out as planned,” Hendry said. “The reason we sent Milton home, as I mentioned in September, is that it couldn’t be tolerated to treat our fans, teammates and members of the media the way he did. It’s time to put that behind us and move forward.”
Hendry said the deal came together with Jack Zduriencik in the last 48 hours. He felt it presented the Cubs the best chance to salvage something in return for Bradley as well as get cash ($6 million over two years) from the Mariners.
“This deal helps us a lot of ways,” he said. “Hopefully, Mr. Silva will get back to where he was when he had success. Obviously, he struggled (in Seattle). We’ve monitored him a little on the side and in games in Venezuela. Hopefully, he’ll be able to get back and at least have a successful spot on our club in some way.”
Hendry added that Silva will either be a No. 5 starting candidate or long reliever.
“We had him 89 to 92 (mhp) last night *in a winter league start) with a good sinker. We know a lot of people that know him. We have a lot of connections to his past with the Twins. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out for him in Seattle. This might be a classic change of scenery for both of them. Maybe they’ll get a fresh start and perform like they used to.”
Hendry believes Bradley’s troubles began when he, and the Cubs, started the season slowly at the plate.
“When things started to go wrong, it was hard to stop,” he said. “The expectations were so high for all of us, when the expectations weren’t met, and criticism came in his direction, he didn’t handle it well. Once he started down that path…He was playing on a big stage here. If you want the big stage, you have to be able to perform on the big stage. This was one of those high-risk, high-reward chances we decided to take and try to go for the gold. Obviously, it didn’t work.”