Patience pays off for Angels.
Bradley hit .321/.436/.563 in his career year in 2008.
Abreu hit .296/.371/.471. Just about what
he does every year.
Abreu is 34, while Bradley is 30. But Abreu
played in 156 games in 2008, his lowest total in the last eight seasons. Bradley appeared in 126 games – his high in
the last four years.
those four years, Bradley has hit .299/.394/.510, playing in 358 games. He had eight stints on the disabled list (torn
finger ligament, torn tendon in left knee, right knee sprain, left shoulder
strain, left hamstring strain, left hamstring strain again, right calf strain, oblique
muscle strain) – and that includes no disabled list time with Texas despite an
injury-marred second half in 2008.
.290/.392/.463, 632 games. No disabled
another way, if age is theoretically a factor in terms of committing to a free
agent hitter, then projected health has to be, too, and Abreu’s baseball age
has to considered less of a risk than Bradley’s.
a left-handed hitter, is reportedly about to sign a one-year, $5 million
contract with the Angels. Incentives can
apparently kick it higher.
Cubs – coveting a left-handed-hitting middle-of-the-lineup presence – are giving
Bradley $9 million in 2009 ($4 million signing bonus plus $5 million base). They’ve also guaranteed him, despite his
health history and an inability to preserve him a bit at designated hitter, $9
million in 2010. He’s also in line to
make $12 million in 2011 – though it converts to a club option (with $2 million
buyout) if he doesn’t reach certain playing time levels beforehand.
Bradley, a very good baseball player but a massive health risk, is guaranteed $20
million over two years by a DH-less team.
If he stays as healthy as the Cubs need him to, he’ll be guaranteed $30
million over three years.
Abreu, a very good baseball player, is guaranteed $5 million over one.