Look out Oakland, the A's now have Milton Bradley. Bradley is now a part of the outlook for the 2006 season.
Many of you have claimed that you hate having a disruptive force like Bradley in the A's clubhouse, but to me, this speaks to Billy Beane's faith in the strength of character in the A's clubhouse. Beane believes that the A's clubhouse is a unique environment that can positively affect even the most serious misanthrope.
On the field, this could significantly improve the A's offense as Bradley can be an on-base machine. He will probably play right field with Nick Swisher moving to first base and Dan Johnson being the DH. Although don't be surprised to see Jay Payton dealt as well. I don't think this rules out the A's continuing their pursuit of Frank Thomas. The A's defense is remarkable now. If they do keep Payton, they essentially have three center fielders in their outfield.
The A's are hoping they get the Bradley from Cleveland in 2003. A .421 OBP, .922 OPS. Bradley was one of the most unheralded offensive weapons that season.
He's not the power source the A's have been seeking, but he also won't clog the bases and is one heck of a defensive outfielder.
Bradley's major flaw is his reputation as a loose cannon. But obviously the A's front office believes they can overcome that. If he's 100 percent healthy, Bradley can be quite the offensive force. The other thing is, he's only 27 years old.
It hurts giving up Ethier, especially since he seemed destined for great things and was skyrocketing through the organization. But the A's have a somewhat similar prospect in Daric Barton who will likely be everything Ethier is and more.
I like getting Bradley. But I still think The Big Hurt's power would also be a welcome addition.
And then with the rotation and Bradley and Thomas in the mix, look out American League.