Sources: Bradley being discussed in 3-way deal
Bradley to the Blue Jays. First baseman Lyle Overbay to the Mets. Second baseman Luis Castillo to the Cubs.
The teams indeed have discussed the framework of such a deal, though not in direct fashion, according to major-league sources.
The Cubs spoke to the Mets about Bradley-for-Castillo, while the Mets spoke to the Jays about Bradley-for-Overbay, sources say.
The Rays, however, remain the club most interested in Bradley, sources say, proposing an exchange of outfielder/designated hitter Pat Burrell for Bradley.
Burrell and Bradley each will make $9 million in 2010. The Cubs would need to pick up a significant portion of Bradley's $12 million salary in '11 to make a deal to work.
The three-team possibility, according to one source, has "some legs, but not much." The Jays are opposed to the deal, one source says — perhaps because new GM Alex Anthopolous does not want a trade for Bradley to be his first major move.
Still, the mere discussion of Bradley, Castillo and Overbay between the clubs offers insight into each team's thinking.
Castillo, who has two years left on his contract at $6 million per season, would add speed and on-base skills to the top of the Cubs' lineup, but is not an ideal fit. The Cubs eventually want to move Ryan Theriot to second to make room for top shortstop prospect Starlin Castro.
The Mets are in the same position they were a year ago — eager to trade Castillo and sign free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. The additions of both Hudson and Overbay would revamp the right side of their infield, and Overbay's line-drive stroke would play well at spacious Citi Field.
The Jays clearly are open to moving Overbay — they recently discussed sending him to the Diamondbacks for catcher Chris Snyder. A trade of Overbay would clear first base for Adam Lind, and Bradley could serve as a left fielder/DH.
The Cubs intend to move Bradley, and are willing to assume a chunk of the $21 million remaining on his contract. But they believe that there is enough interest in Bradley for them to avoid paying the vast sum that many outsiders project will be necessary to complete a deal.