By Jason Wojciechowski on June 21, 2007 at 8:28 PM
Completely crazy news: the A's today DFA'd Milton Bradley, who, when healthy, is their best hitter (on the assumption that Eric Chavez will spend the rest of his career trying to hit through nagging injuries that sap his power). Oakland called up Kevin Melillo to take Bradley's place.
Billy Beane has scheduled a call or press conference or something for one o'clock (Pacific) to, hopefully, explain what's going on here. Certainly there's a lot of speculation, what with Bradley's somewhat tempestuous past, that he said or did something to someone that made Bob Geren and/or Billy Beane give him the Jeremy Giambi treatment.
Also possible is that there's a trade in the works involving Bradley, but why would the A's feel the need to DFA him now? Why not get the benefit of his bat for the next few days until the supposed trade is consummated? I could see Bradley traded in the ten-day window the A's have to do something with him after the DFA, but I really doubt there's a deal nearly in place right now.
Susan Slusser reports that one motivation for this is that a number of the A's outfielders have futures with the team, while Bradley doesn't (he's a free agent this year and, even with his injuries, could command more than the A's are willing to pay). Thus, his playing time was likely to be cut in favor of players like Travis Buck and Chris Snelling.
If nothing else, Jack Cust and Travis Buck now have more job security, not to mention Bobby Kielty and Chris Snelling (although there's probably still one too many outfielders - Snelling, Kielty, Kotsay, Stewart, and Buck, plus Cust when Piazza is DHing).