Cubs to introduce Milton Bradley

Cubs to introduce Milton Bradley

Cubs to introduce Milton Bradley

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago Cubs and Milton Bradley wrapped up their $30 million, three-year deal Thursday after the mercurial outfielder passed a physical.

Joining his seventh team in 10 years, and fifth in the last five, Bradley is coming off a productive season with the Texas Rangers. But his onfield talents have often been overshadowed by his outbursts and flashes of anger.

``I did it. It's in the past. It's over with,'' Bradley said during a Wrigley Field news conference.

``I'm the ballplayer you see every day. I give my all. I pour everything I got into it. When I go home, I'm physically and mentally exhausted because I gave everything I had that day for my teammates to try to win a ballgame. A lot of guys make a lot more money that go back home every day and they're not really worried about it, don't really care, just keep collecting their check.''

A switch-hitter, Bradley batted .321 with 22 homers for Texas while leading the American League with a .436 on-base percentage last season. He made the All-Star team while serving primarily as a designated hitter.

He'll fill the Cubs' need for a left-handed bat in the middle of the order and will be used mostly in right field even though he has played 100 games in the field only once in his career - in 2004 with the Dodgers.

The 30-year-old Bradley has a history of anger issues.

He slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the right-field seats at Dodger Stadium in 2004 after someone threw it on the field, drawing a five-game suspension. With San Diego in the pennant chase in 2007, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black, who was trying to keep him from umpire Mike Winters. Bradley claimed he was baited by Winters, who was suspended for the final five days of the regular season and didn't work the postseason.

Bradley also got a four-game suspension for tossing a bag of balls onto the field after an ejection. And when he was with Cleveland, he had a dugout confrontation with Indians manager Eric Wedge during spring training in 2004 before getting traded to Los Angeles.

And in 2005, he criticized then Dodgers' teammate Jeff Kent, saying he couldn't deal with black players.

``I think you would be hard-pressed to find somebody that doesn't have something good to say about me - Jeff Kent, Eric Wedge included,'' Bradley said.

``I've seen a lot of cute headlines about me, talking about everything. People that never met me speaking about me,'' Bradley said. ``That's a thing I never do. I'm never going to judge somebody based on somebody else's perception or what I see on TV or read in the paper.''

The Cubs, who are on the verge of being sold and have been swept out of the playoffs in the first round the last two seasons, have had a busy offseason.

They traded popular second baseman Mark DeRosa to Cleveland and dealt right-hander Jason Marquis to Colorado. They also declined to re-sign closer Kerry Wood. They have picked up outfielder Joey Gathright and infielder Aaron Miles as free agents and acquired reliever Kevin Gregg in a trade with the Marlins. The Cubs also obtained reliever Luis Vizcaino in the trade for Marquis.

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