According to Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott, the Cubs and Blue Jays have discussed a possible trade that would send Vernon Wells to Chicago and bring Milton Bradley north of the border.
“It’s early on, but we think this one has some legs,” one Cubs official told Elliott. “But they aren’t the only team we are talking with.”
The Cubs are in a situation where they are under pressure to find a way to get someone to take Bradley off their hands. The Jays are in a situation where Wells’ contract is looking more and more the albatross as his performance has dropped.
For Toronto, such a swap would make sense in one way and one way only. It’d free up a huge chunk of salary (Wells is owed $107 million through 2014) and would bring in a short-term solution in Bradley (two years, $21 million left on his deal).
If such a trade did take place, it would be the second time Toronto was bailed out of a huge contract in a matter of months. In August, the White Sox agreed to assume everything Alex Rios was owed through 2015 after claiming him off waivers. If the Cubs were willing to take Wells’ entire contract, it might be tempting to pull off the swap.
But for Bradley?
To me, this wouldn’t fall in line with the much-emphasized philosophy of new Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Since taking over for J.P. Ricciardi, Anthopoulos has stressed the importance of building an organization with high-quality employees on and off the field. Given his history, Bradley does not fit that category.
Bringing Bradley to Toronto would seem to contradict all that talk. Beyond that, the Cubs would suddenly have two of the most untradeable contracts (Wells and Alfonso Soriano) in the game if they pulled the trigger on this. So, given the size of Wells’ deal and Bradley’s history, I’m not sure this deal would happen.
It’s an interesting rumor, though.
UPDATE: Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune shoots down Elliott’s report. Sullivan has a Cubs source who says the deal has “no legs at all.” His source goes as far as saying the teams have not even discussed such a trade.