WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Cleveland Indians will trade Milton Bradley within 72 hours of Wednesday's confrontation with manager Eric Wedge, ESPN's Peter Gammons reported today.
Bradley abruptly left Cleveland's training camp Thursday, one day after he was pulled from an exhibition game for not running out a pop fly against Houston. Bradley was told quietly by Wedge that he needed to be on second base. Bradley responded, and while it was not a shouting match, he showed disrespect for his manager in front of his teammates.
General manager Mark Shapiro told Bradley that the Indians organization could not allow such behavior or such a lack of respect, according to Gammons. To his credit, Bradley moved to Cleveland this offseason and did what the club says was more community service than any other player.
Wedge had no comment when asked about Bradley's status.
Bradley's agent, Seth Levinson, said the player left with the "understanding and agreement of the front office" so the sides could weigh their options.
The Indians were counting on Bradley this year to bat cleanup and be a productive everyday player. He was having a solid 2003 season before hurting his back and missing the final six weeks.
Bradley batted .321 with a .922 OPS last season. At least four teams have expressed interest, according to Gammons, and Shapiro hopes to have a deal in place by Sunday night.
Bradley has a history of transgressions on and off the field, and this one may lead the Indians to cut ties with him. He signed a one-year $1.73 million contract in November.
Bradley didn't comment before leaving in a cab before Wednesday's game ended, but he said through the team he had a tight groin. He was pulled from a game last season for failing to run out a ball. He also angered some opponents by showboating.
Bradley had been a model citizen all spring, promising he had changed and would not be a distraction. In February, he was sentenced to three days in jail for driving away from police after being stopped for speeding.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Junior: "Hey Kramer, you ever killed a man?"
Kramer: "What do you think, Junior, these hands have been soaking in Ivory liquid?
I guess I will be banking on Texas then, and really hoping not Oakland since that would kill his SBs. Even though they are pitcher's parks, I don't see LA or Seattle as the end of the world, on second thought, since both teams will turn guys lose to run.
Erboes wrote:As an Indians' fan I hope cooler heads will prevail, but that Wedge is one tough SOB and the damage may be irreperable. If they do trade him I sure hope they get some good stuff in return.
The Indians front office does seem concerned with not just getting good players on the field but good players off the field too. Sounds like Bradley may have worn out his welcome in CLE. I like the team they are putting together right now, and think that their front office is pretty solid. It's always hard to get full value for a player that everyone knows needs to go, but I suspect CLE will do okay.
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
I shouldn't be surprised because they've been thinking about trading him since the end of last season. Evidently, they decided to give him one more chance because he was putting forth the effort to be a better person. I guess this was the last straw.
I must say this for any AL only guys out there, watch out for Escobar.