(Cubs GM Jim Hendry and Milton Bradley, back before they got to know each other)
When Buster Olney floats the possibility of an (admittedly unlikely) Oliver Perez-for-Milton Bradley swap. the circumstances are rather obvious ; the only way the Cubs will be able to
jettison an obvious scapegoat escape their contractual obligations to their tempermental outfielder is if they take on an equally brutal salary in exchange. The Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot quotes one unnamed Cubs insider as saying there’s some truth to rumors of a Bradley-for-Vernon Wells discussion (“”It’s early on, but we think this one has some legs”)
Wells has six years left on his contract extension, $107 million remaining, including the $8.5-million final instalment of his signing bonus, which is due in March. Team president Paul Godfrey and former general manager J.P. Ricciardi signed Wells to the contract extension.
The Cubs’ idea is to split the difference on monies owed — Wells’ $107 million and Bradley’s $21 million for a difference of $86 million. Each team absorbs $43 million.
The Cubs have to deal Bradley. Other possible landing spots: The San Francisco Giants for lefty Barry Zito, who has four years remaining at $83 million; the Indians for Travis Hafner, three years for $40.25 million, Giants’ Aaron Rowand, three years at $36 million, the Dodgers for Juan Pierre, two years at $18.5 million, and Tampa Bay’s Pat Burrell, one year at $7 million.