Sure there are some huge red flags:
- He has played 100 games only three times (2003, 2004, 2008) and 130 games only once
- This will be his 7th organization in his 9 year career. He has been suspended while with the Dodgers and Padres and his confrontations with Eric Wedge and Billy Beane earned him a ticket out of town.
- His latest major injury (a torn ACL while arguing with an umpire in 2007) has severely hindered his range in the outfield rendering him incapable of playing a decent center. Now he is in right field.
- This is his first multi-year contract drawing speculation that he won't play hard since he finally got his money.
This is what I like:
- Bradley led the American League in OBP & OPS last season.
- Bradley is a switch hitter who has a career .801 OPS vs RHP--a perfect fit for a right-handed dominated team.
- Since becoming a regular in 2003, Bradley's line reads .295/.391/.488 and shows no signs of slowing down.
- He is a year removed from his knee injury which should allow him to play competent defense in Wrigley's small outfield.
- Bradley brings a fire that is unmatched by any of his Cub teammates. No more DLee in the headlights looks in October.
I believe the pros outweigh the cons in this situation. Yes, Bradley will inevitably be injured and he'll inevitably pick a fight with Fontenot and Theriot for having silent a silent 't' in their name, but when this happens that's why Kosuke is earning his megabucks, right? I believe Bradley will prevent this team from sleepwalking through the NLDS and push them into the NLCS. Good job, Jim Hendry.