Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All Kinds of Ugly

While all the chatter today is on Gordon Wittenmyer's self serving, unsubstantiated, reporter-making-the-news column on "racist" Cubs fans (see Andy Dolan's takedown of the column for a great response), the real news remains on the injury front.

Lou Piniella gave an update on Geovanny Soto, Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez on his pre-game WGN radio show. Soto returns to in the lineup today, but will get this Sunday off. With no game on Monday, Soto's back gets back-to-back days of rest. A Ram's injury is kind of curious. He's getting another day off, but Lou says that he's available to pinch hit. There's no real detail on what the injury is or if it's expected to be a chronic thing. This bears watching.

But Bradley's status is very interesting. Lou says that Bradley needs a few more days. No word if he's available to pinch hit or not. No word at all. What makes this so interesting is Bradley's contract. Bradley is guaranteed two years and $20 million. His third year (and another $10 million) vests if Bradley spends fewer than 75 days on the disabled list between now and the end of the 2010 season.

It seems clear now that this current injury will cost Bradley about 7 days. With three starters nursing injuries, the Cubs could get into a shortage of position players. It probably makes sense to DL Bradley and get a live body onto the roster. One wonders if the decision to DL or Not To DL is being affected by that vesting clause.

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