When I log onto AN, I always expect to see that one of our players is DOA, but not DFA. Milton Bradley, future-former-Athletic, gone someway somehow in the next 10 days. Here's my take:
First off, it is in transactions like this where I most trust Billy Beane. I am confident that this move was not made out of any subjective emotions or rash action, but rather out of good business sense, and I am confident that it is the right move--I'm not yet sure why, so I'm going to speculate, but I do not believe Beane would have made this move unless he knew it was the right move. For one thing, you don't DFA your #3 hitter without giving all your options a whole lot of thought.
What I have to think, first and foremost, is that Beane calculated that Milton Bradley was not going to play very much between tomorrow and the end of September. I think it's clear that when Bradley plays he helps the team win. He may have a temper, heck he may be a "malcontent," but he was not a "cancer" (on the contrary he was the best hitter's best friend) and his presence on the field made the A's a much better team. Whether Bradley reinjured himself--yet again--yesterday, or whether all signs just pointed towards a never-ending "seven days on, seven weeks off" pattern that has been Bradley's career, I have to believe that Billy Beane did not see Bradley playing much the rest of the season.
So Beane will probably try to trade him for a bucket of balls just to get Bradley's salary off the books. Meanwhile, the A's have their backup infielder up in Kevin Melillo. If there are no takers in the proposed Bradley-Bucket deal, Beane may be forced to eat Bradley's salary in exchange for opening up a spot on the 25 and 40 man rosters. Perhaps this is where Piazza and Cust can both fit in. Maybe we'll see Cust in LF after the All-Star Break--hopefully following daily 5-hour practice sessions between now and then.
All I know right now is that as with the Mulder-Hudson deals, I'm surprised now and expect to be appreciative later. The A's do know what they're doing--even if we don't know what they're doing.