Chicago Cubs: Five worst free agent signings in history
Milton Bradley – signed 2009 – 3 years, $30 million
Milton Bradley was brought to the Chicago Cubs after having a record-setting season the previous year with Texas. Bradley posted a .321 average, hit 22 homers and drove in 77 runs to go along with a .436 OBP – all career-high numbers. Adding Bradley was considered a top priority with the Cubs front office. After being swept in the playoffs the previous season by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs offense was exploited by their right-handed heavy line up. Adding a left-handed batter was at the top of the team’s wish list.
Bradley was going to be protection in the middle of the lineup for Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano – all right-handed power hitters. It was expected that Bradley would also play right field primarily. Kosuke Fukudome and Reed Johnson would split time in center field while the other would platoon from the bench as needed.
Bradley also came with a history of bad press. A number of different incidents with the Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians did make some question if this was the right move for the Chicago Cubs. It ended up being exactly just that bad.
Bradley only played one season with the Cubs. Bradley’s stat line was one reason he was traded (.257 avg., 12 homers and 40 RBI), the other was his attitude that caused him to be suspended for the last two weeks of the season after making some comments about the Cubs and the locker room morale.