In news that will shock very few people, word out of Seattle today is that the Mariners have designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment. The move gives the Mariners ten days to release, trade, or outright Bradley to the minors. Bradley is making $12 million this year in the final year of a three year $30 million contract. While Bradley has the large salary, his numbers had pretty much fallen off a cliff. His line of .218/.313/.356 was simply not worth keeping around, particularly in light of the headaches he often brought to the team.
The Seattle Mariners joined a long list of teams that thought they could corral the immense talent and just as immense personality of Milton Bradley. Over the course of his twelve seasons in the majors, Bradley has played for eight teams including the Montreal Expos, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and finally the Seattle Mariners. I'd imagine he'll land somewhere else and we'll get to see if is pattern repeats itself.
Oakland Athletics fans know about Bradley's antics and talent only too well. The A's acquired the outfielder in a December 2005 trade that sent Andre Ethier to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bradley put together some big hits for the A's in their 2006 ALCS run and was a key contributor on that team. However, his personality-driven issues eventually led the A's to designate him for assignment and then trade him to the Padres for Andrew Brown. Bradley got into a bit of a feud with A's GM Billy Beane that resulted in his eventual DFA. We all know how Ethier has worked out for the Dodgers.
There has never been a question about the talent of Bradley prior to his time in Seattle. Unfortunately he has been unable to stay healthy for extended periods of time, and when he has been healthy, some anger issue has crept up. He seemed to be working on the anger issues a bit more in Seattle, but his on-field performance fell to a level that simply did not justify keeping him around, in spite of the immense salary.