OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Oakland Athletics designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment Thursday, cutting ties with a player who was expected to play an important role on the team this season.
Bradley had been on the disabled list three times this year and was frustrated that the team waited two extra days to activate him this week because of uncertainty about third baseman Eric Chavez's health.
Asked Tuesday how he was feeling, Bradley curtly responded, ``I'm healthy and on the bench.'' Bradley was activated from the DL the following day and went 0-for-3 with a walk.
The A's have 10 days to trade or release Bradley. Because he has more than three years of major league service time, Bradley can refuse an assignment to the minor leagues.
Phone messages left with A's general manager Billy Beane and manager Bob Geren were not immediately returned Thursday. The team was traveling to New York to prepare for a three-game weekend series against the Mets.
Bradley, who is in a contract year when players hope to put up some of their best numbers, first was shelved from April 23 to May 10 with a strained left hamstring. He went on the DL a second time May 15-29 when the hamstring flared up again, before being sidelined a third time June 3 with a calf injury.
His missed 51 games in all with the injuries and has had five stints on the disabled list in two seasons with Oakland. He was hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs in 65 at-bats this season.
The A's were counting on much more out of Bradley, especially he had a strong postseason to cap his first year in Oakland. He hit .276 with 14 homers in 52 RBIs in 96 regular-season games before hitting three homers and driving in seven runs in seven postseason contests.
But Bradley has always been known as much for his volatile behavior as his baseball skills. In 2005, he accused Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players.
Bradley was also suspended for the final five games of the 2004 season when he slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the box seats in the right field corner at Dodger Stadium after someone threw it on the field. Nobody was injured.
Bradley had two run-ins with police during traffic stops in Ohio, one that landed him a three-day stay in jail and another that nearly sent him back for a second visit. When he was with the Dodgers, police responded three times to Bradley's home on domestic violence calls, but he wasn't arrested or charged.
Oakland recalled infielder Kevin Melillo from Triple-A Sacramento to take Bradley's place on the roster. Melillo was hitting .267 with seven homers and 40 RBIs for the River Cats.
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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.
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