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Cubs reportedly close to trading Milton Bradley, but not to Tampa Bay Rays

INDIANAPOLIS — Could the long Milton Bradley saga be coming to an end?

Several Chicago media outlets reported Tuesday night the Cubs were close to a deal with a team that wasn't the Rays (the Sun-Times identified it as a "surprise AL team), and it could be completed by today.

Between the teams that don't need or wouldn't take the talented but troubled Bradley and those that indicated they weren't involved, there weren't many options left if the report was true. However, Seattle, Toronto and Kansas City would seem to be possibilities.

The Rays' position hadn't changed as of Tuesday evening: They made clear to the Cubs under what terms they would do the deal (read: how much of the difference between Bradley and Pat Burrell's contracts they want covered), and the next move was up to the Cubs.

FROM THE TOP: Manager Joe Maddon hasn't made firm decisions, but his initial thought is to keep Jason Bartlett at the top of the Rays lineup and slot CF B.J. Upton, if he rebounds as they expect, fifth or sixth.

Bartlett hit .303 with a .398 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot, and Maddon said he did "a tremendous job." Upton has already started working with new hitting coach Derek Shelton, and the early reviews have been good.

MORE RAYS: Executive VP Andrew Friedman said "there hasn't been much clarity" yet on their catching situation as they weigh trading or non-tendering either Dioner Navarro or Kelly Shoppach. … Add RHP LaTroy Hawkins to the relievers the Rays are talking to. … Maddon is back to his usual white hair. … Ex-Ray RHP Brandon Backe is looking to sign, and his original team has expressed some interest. … Former Rays reliever Dan Miceli is working with Tampa-based agent Tom O'Connell. … Biggest Rays news of the day: Friedman actually left his suite for a brief walk around the hotel.

RICH GET RICHER: There was no official announcement, but the Yankees reportedly reached agreement to obtain All-Star CF Curtis Granderson in a three-team trade that will send ex-Ray Edwin Jackson from Detroit to Arizona.

The Yankees would get Granderson without disturbing their big-league roster, giving up RHP prospect Ian Kennedy (who goes to Arizona with Jackson), plus LH reliever Phil Coke and OF prospect Austin Jackson, who head to Detroit along with former D'backs Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth.

AROUND THE MAJORS: The Mariners made official their four-year deal (plus a 2014 option) with Brandon free agent Chone Figgins, though GM Jack Zduriencik said they haven't decided where in the infield he'll play. … The Marlins are progressing in talks involving RHP Matt Lindstrom (the Rays have some interest), 2B Dan Uggla and RHP Renyel Pinto. … The Angels have joined the field for OF Jason Bay. … LHP Bobby Seay, another ex-Ray, is among available Tigers. … Gibbs High product RHP Boof Bonser was designated for assignment by the Twins.

Cubs reportedly close to trading Milton Bradley, but not to Tampa Bay Rays 12/08/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 11:46pm]
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