|Padres hope to re-sign Bradley, who hurt knee in dustup|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 06 December 2007 18:27|
``We talked with Milton, we've made an offer, we think that he's seriously considering it and we're hopeful he'll be back with the San Diego Padres in 2008,'' CEO Sandy Alderson said Thursday afternoon. ``It's not firm or final yet.''
Bradley was the second-half offensive catalyst for the Padres, who fell one win short of going to the playoffs for the third straight season.
Sam Levinson, one of Bradley's agents, confirmed that the sides are talking.
``The San Diego Padres are one of several teams that we are engaged in discussions with. However, we have not reached an agreement with anyone at this time,'' Levinson said.
Alderson said the Padres received a positive report from the doctor who repaired the torn anterior cruciate ligament and damaged cartilage in Bradley's right knee on Sept. 27.
Alderson said the doctor was ``somewhat confident'' that Bradley could be back by the start of next season.
Bringing back Bradley would be a step in reassembling an outfield that's been decimated by injuries and a suspension. Right fielder Brian Giles had microfracture surgery on his right knee two days after San Diego's season ended and center fielder Mike Cameron was suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive a second time for a banned stimulant.
The Padres offered Cameron salary arbitration, but aren't sure if he'll accept.
The Padres didn't offer Bradley arbitration. General manager Kevin Towers said at the end of last season that he was interested in bringing back the outfielder.
Alderson also confirmed the Padres have made an offer to Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, calling it ``one of the two or three biggest offers'' in team history.
The Padres' biggest offer ever was $60 million over six seasons to Kevin Brown, who left after San Diego's 1998 World Series season to take the Los Angeles Dodgers' offer of $105 million for seven years, then the biggest deal in baseball history.
``We didn't make a $60 million or a $50 million offer,'' Alderson said.
Alderson wouldn't be more specific than to say the offer is somewhere between the $30 million given to Brian Giles in December 2005 and the pending $52 million extension for Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, which will be the biggest deal in team history. Alderson, hired in April 2005, said he wasn't aware that a $34 million extension given to Phil Nevin in November 2001 had been the previous biggest contract in club history.
Fukudome's agent, Joe Urbon, didn't immediately return a phone call Thursday evening.
``Only the agent knows what's out there,'' Alderson said. ``We don't know what the offers are or how many other offers there may be.''
The 30-year-old Fukudome is regarded as one of the best outfielders in Japanese professional baseball. He was a key member of the Japanese team that won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March 2006. The semifinals and title game were played at the Padres' Petco Park.
Bradley was hurt when Padres manager Bud Black spun him to the ground while trying to keep him from going after umpire Mike Winters during a confrontation on Sept. 23.
The Padres and Bradley, who has a history of losing his temper, claimed Winters baited the player into the confrontation and directed a profanity at him. Winters was suspended for the final five days of the regular season and didn't work the postseason.
Bradley's injury was the climax of a bizarre sequence of events.
A few innings before he was injured, Bradley inadvertently stepped on Cameron's right hand as the two chased Garrett Atkins' inside-the-park home run. Cameron injured his thumb and made just one appearance the rest of the season.
San Diego had three chances to clinch the NL wild card, but lost its final three games, including a 13-inning tiebreaker at Colorado on Oct. 1. The Rockies advanced to the World Series before being swept by Boston.
Bradley finished the year hitting .306 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 61 games with Oakland and San Diego.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.