With his three-year no-trade clause with the Angels expired and two years left on his contract, like clockwork, Gary Matthews Jr. announced that he wants to play every day. His salary pretty much demands that we trade him for someone else's overpaid headache and one dude sticks out like a sore thumb. Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley. And I give this trade thumbs up.
Yes I just heard you scream in protestation over his chemistry issues. His temper. His rage against the machine, the fans, the teammates, the coaches, hell, against the peanut vendors. But hear me out...
Would not Bradley benefit form the absolute terms of engagement set for him by an unassailable manager such as Mike Scioscia? Unlike Ron Washington, Mike has reached the playoffs with an iron hand. Unlike Lou Piniella, Mike is a fixture - there is no battle to be won with the Papacy-like permanence of Scioscia the First. Milton's trouble with authority could vanish when Scioscia's reasonable expectations and culture of winning are presented as a chance at redemption and his only option to get a ring.
Bradley quit on the Cubs and blamed racist fans. With Torii Hunter a fixture in Centerfield and Wally George dead, ya can't say that about the O.C.!
Gary is owed $23 Million over the next two seasons. He turned 35 in August.
Bradley is owed $21 Million over the next two seasons. He will turn 32 a week after opening day.
The Angels could use Bradley in RF and at DH and toss in a speedy leadoff hitter in the field when Milton needs the rest that comes from DHing. With Brandon Wood at 3B, Mike Napoli DHing when Milton was in the field and Reggie Willits or Chris Pettit in RF on the days he DHs, we get speedy leadoff hitters to replace Chone Figgins, and two power bats to replace Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero (bot over 35 on opening day). We get younger, have the bucks to re-sign John Lackey and the Gary Matthews contract is suddenly giving us and OPS of .900 ... I dunno, think about it...