I made a followup call to Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik to ask him about his comment to Dave “Softy” Mahler today on KJR-AM 950 about Milton Bradley.
Zduriencik reiterated that the Mariners intend to have Bradley in training camp when the full squad reports to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 18. Prior to that, however, Bradley has a court date on Feb. 8 in Southern California pertaining to his arrest last week for allegedly threatening a woman, a felony charge.
“Obviously, there’s a legal process that Milton has to go through,” Zduriencik said. “As of right now, he’s a part of the organization, and we’re planning on him coming into spring training and competing for a job.”
Zduriencik said he has talked to Bradley since the arrest but declined to go into details about the conversation, other than to relate that Bradley said he had been working hard to prepare for the season.
Bradley, who turns 33 in April, was limited to 73 games last year and hit just .205. He was on the restricted list from May 6-19, and was on the disabled list from July 31 through the end of the season. Bradley underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 17.
When healthy, Bradley split time between left field and designated hitter (with one game in right), and Zduriencik envisions a similar role.
“I think he competes for those two positions — probably more toward left field. Because he’s a switch-hitter, when he’s healthy, there’s a degree of versatility.”
Asked if Bradley’s status could change following the Feb. 8 court hearing, Zduriencik sid, “I don’t think I’m in a position to comment at the moment. He’s a member of the organization, he’s signed. Our stand right now is that he’s going to come in and compete for a starting position.”
Bradley will make $12 million in 2011 in the final year of the three-year, $30-million contract he signed originally with the Chicago Cubs.