Boy, talk about trading headaches. Larry Stone:
The Seattle Mariners have found a way to get rid of one of their last lingering problems. According to major-league sources, the club is on the verge of trading Carlos Silva, who still has two years remaining on the four-year, $48 million contract given him by former general manager Bill Bavasi before the 2008 season, to the Cubs in exchange for outfielder Milton Bradley.
I understand why the Mariners are making this move -- Silva has absolutely no role on the team any more after two disastrous seasons and little hope for a turnaround. He went 4-15, 6.46 in 2008, and was 1-3, 8.60 in eight games in '09, spending most of the year on the disabled list. Bradley, at least, is healthy and can be very productive when he's focused and happy. They have faith that manager Don Wakamatsu will be able to foster a good relationship with Bradley, as Texas manager Ron Washington did, and that he will contribute to an offense that needs what Bradley, at peak performance, can offer.
Worst case, they can always cut him -- the M's probably weren't going to get anything from Silva any way, so that money was lost regardless. Best case, they have a motivated, resurrected offensive performer to stick in the middle of their lineup. The Cubs had been trying all winter to trade Bradley, talking most seriously with Tampa Bay and Texas, but to no avail -- until now.
Jack Zduriencik, I mean. The Mariners, at little or no additional financial expense, have traded a player who might be quite useful for a player who almost certainly will not be useful. Yes, baseball's a funny game. Silva's still a relatively young man, and might again pitch effectively someday. But considering that Silva's been terrible in each of the last two seasons, and that Bradley was great in 2008 and decent in 2009, doesn't this seem like an incredibly lopsided deal, talent-wise?
There's only one thing I don't quite get ... Where is Bradley going to play? We know he's best suited to DHing, because of the injury-prone nature of his physiology. But the Mariners already have a DH, a 40-year-old man named Junior. Now, 40-year-old Junior shouldn't play much because he's not much good anymore. But one wonders what will happen if Bradley's not healthy enough to play left field.
Anyway, that's a better problem to have than spending another $25 million on Carlos Silva.