Free Agent Bradley Signs With Cubs

Fiery, talented hitter joining North Side club

For a second there, the Cubs off-season slowed to a halt. Sort of. Even in the midst of the Winter Classic hoopla, they traded beloved utility player Mark DeRosa to the Cleveland Indians, but compared to the hot-stove furor over Jake Peavy and others during the winter meetings, things had calmed just a bit.

No more: It appears the Cubs have reached an agreement in principle with free agent outfielder Milton Bradley, according to Fox's Ken Rosenthal (Robothal breaks every baseball story worth breaking, he really does). The particulars? Three years, $30 million. The contract isn't signed just yet -- the Cubs and Bradley need to agree on "language," and Bradley has to pass a physical, but for all intents and purposes, the deal is done.

Whether it's a good one is the next question, and, for now, sure. There are serious questions about Bradley's stamina -- he's played 100 games in the field in a season only once in his career. The Cubs will play Bradley in right field. But that's not the only question, either. Related is Bradley's injury history, but maybe more of a concern is his history of being an explosive, occasionally unhinged clubhouse presence, the kind of guy who reacts to strikeouts and boos by tossing a bucket of balls on the field. That really happened.

Still, the Cubs have a good clubhouse as-is, and it's hard to imagine Bradley upsetting a core of Ryan Dempster, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and so on. There are leaders on the Cubs to rein Bradley in. Assuming, that is, that he needs the reining. Maybe Bradley will be a model citizen -- and Cubs fans can get back to kvetching about his on-field performance.

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