A’s Trade Ethier to Dodgers for Bradley and Perez
by Ken Arneson
2005-12-13 14:41

I heard the A’s traded Andre Ethier for Milton Bradley. I hated the deal.

Then I heard the A’s also get Antonio Perez.

OK, now I like the deal.

This trade makes the A’s a very deep team. And the A’s will need it, because they have several injury-prone players.

The worst case scenario for the A’s 2006 title hopes is that Eric Chavez’s bad shoulder doesn’t last through the season. The A’s had nobody in the organization who could step in and do any sort of credible job there. With Perez, now they do.

Bradley is a risk, both with his personality, and with his injury history. But when he plays, he will definitely upgrade the offense. And if this pushes Nick Swisher to first and Dan Johnson to DH, it upgrades the defense, too.

You have to ask some questions as a result:

  • Does this deal mean that the Frank Thomas signing is out? Not necessarily. Thomas is an injury risk, and he probably wouldn’t last 162 games. This lineup:

    LF Swisher
    CF Kotsay
    RF Bradley
    1B Johnson
    DH Thomas

    is probably better a better team than this lineup:

    LF Payton
    CF Kotsay
    RF Bradley
    1B Swisher
    DH Johnson

    even if you lose something defensively in the process.

    Plus you have to figure Kotsay, Bradley and Thomas will all miss some time every now and then with various ailments.

  • Whither Bobby Kielty? Jay Payton and Bobby Kielty probably each lose playing time as a result of this deal, especially if the A’s sign Frank Thomas.
  • Whither Marco Scutaro? You have to figure Perez becomes the #1 backup infielder. Scutaro probably has more trade value at this point than actual value to the A’s.
  • Was Andre Ethier too much to give up? Hard to tell. He had a great year in AA, and a great performance in the AFL. But it was his only good year. It could have been a sign of great things to come, or just a peak season in an average career.

    I hate to give up on a prospect who has any sort of chance of being a very good major league player. But the A’s got two players who are already pretty good, and who improve the A’s right now. It’s hard to turn that down.

Comments: 22
1.   Vishal
2005-12-13 16:00

1.  andre ethier too much???

i mean, time will tell, but at this point he's just a AA prospect. the A's won big on this deal, it seems.

2.   Ken Arneson
2005-12-13 16:18

2.  Like I said, I like the deal. But there's also the potential the A's just traded six years of a good young outfielder for a backup infielder and one year of an outfielder who breaks down and/or self-destructs. So who knows?

But if the A's can stay healthy all year, this is one helluva team.

3.   Vishal
2005-12-13 16:33

3.  yeah, like i was saying on DT, the A's are very deep and have the makings of a strong playoff team. i'm very hopeful for a pennant in '06.

4.   Uncle Miltie
2005-12-13 16:39

4.  Dodger Fan here (also an A's fan)-
Bradley is a great talent and since there are no Jeff Kent like personalities on the A's he should be fine. Macha is a pretty easy going manager, so Bradley should get along with him. Perez is a good hitter, who is a bit defensively challenged.

Bill just made a great trade.

5.   fanerman
2005-12-13 16:43

5.  As another DT reader, I'm glad Bradley and Perez both went to the A's. Their talents will be better appreciated there.

6.   Uncle Miltie
2005-12-13 16:53

6.  *Billy

I agree with fanerman. It's a shame that the A's don't have any room for Choi too.

7.   Brendan
2005-12-13 17:03

7.  there are no Jeff Kent like personalities on the A's he should be fine

Must have been Jeff Kent personalities in Montreal and Cleveland as well. I know you really like Bradley, Uncle Miltie, but you are too quick to blame his problems on Kent. Not all of his problems are Jeff Kent related(most aren't). I know when people think someone is being unfairly criticized they tend to push back the other way and I think you might be doing that in your defense of Bradley. I wish him the best though and will be rooting him on as well

8.   Vishal
2005-12-13 17:09

8.  [7] was he traded from montreal because of personality issues?

9.   Brendan
2005-12-13 17:18

9.  I read that somewhere Vishal. had some problems in the minors there as well. nothing major though. insubordination I believe.

10.   Bob Timmermann
2005-12-13 17:33

10.  Sporting News, July 2, 2001 -

"SEE A DIFFERENT GAME: Why the club sat OF Milton Bradley on the bench for three days before sending him to Class AAA is unclear. Perhaps it wanted to teach him a lesson by malting him see what he was missing. If Bradley isn't able to control a penchant for being negative, he could damage his career. He had a reputation for being difficult in the minors, and he hasn't put it behind him. Ultimately, he has to decide if the "everybody's against me" anger that fueled his rise to the big leagues might hurt him more than help him as he tries to establish himself as a big-league player. -Stephanie Myles "

11.   scarface
2005-12-13 18:12

11.  Beane managed to improve the offense and depth, and we still have Zito? That's pretty nifty. I thought deals usually involved sending multiple minor-leaguers for a single major leaguer, not the other way around! I think Ned's gonna be making Bay Area fans happy...

I wonder though about the money and years associated with these two Dodger players (none of the reports specified this - roughly 3M together last year). It looks like the A's budget is kinda flexible, given that they don't appear desperate to trade Zito.

Also, Rincon signed with another team. Not too many ways remaining for Macha to screw up.

12.   Uncle Miltie
2005-12-13 18:13

12.  He was traded from Montreal because they thought he was a headcase. In particular, he had a run in with an umpire.

In Cleveland, he got along with his teammates. The guy he didn't get along with was Eric Wedge (a great manager), who apparently acts like a drill sergeant. Blame definitely deserves some blame here, but I think he really needs a more laid back manager. He got along very well with Jim Tracy. Tracy obviously liked Bradley enough to have Pittsburgh's GM to pursue him. Bradley should have no problem playing for Ken Macha.

Here's what a couple of A's players said about the trade:
"We're very relaxed, no one really interferes with anyone's business," center fielder Mark Kotsay said. "I've never been in a clubhouse where there's less ego. I've had fun seeing Milton as an opposing player because I love his intensity, so I can't see anything negative about him coming over here. He'll have no problem fitting in with us."

Shortstop Bobby Crosby echoed Kotsay's sentiments, saying the Oakland clubhouse can absorb any personality, and, he added with a laugh, "I've seen Bradley get fired up - I like that. We have a lot of guys who are calm and laid-back -- I'd like to see someone fired up."

13.   scarface
2005-12-13 18:36

13.  Interesting synergy: Loaiza and Zito are both flyball pitchers. We will now have an unbelievably good defensive outfield for every game, considering that Bradley, Kotsay and Payton all have centerfielder-type ability. Maybe Beane's gonna keep Zito after all (i.e. not too desperate to trade him). Either way, the off-season acquisitions make a lot of sense when viewed together (well, I'd like Payton and Kotsay to be paid a bit less, but...). Just thinking aloud after putting together two different posts at MVN A's...

I wonder if Milton will agree to play corner outfield, and whether he will mesh with Kotsay in the outfield (Swisher clearly defers to him). I vaguely recall a rather brusque assertion from him that he would be the centerfielder, when some reporter asked him if he would move over for J.D. Drew (when the Dodgers bought Drew).

14.   Jason Wojciechowski
2005-12-13 18:39

14.  Ken, why do you think the A's will only have Bradley for one year? Isn't he not a free agent until after '07?

The other issue with the great depth is that the whole reason Oakland was able to pick up Jay Payton last year is because he complained his way out of Boston because he wasn't getting to play. I don't know if the A's will have him around unless they're planning on playing him 120+ games. With Frank Thomas on the team, I don't think he'd even come close to that.

15.   Bob Timmermann
2005-12-13 18:41

15.  I would assume that Bradley would be inclined to defer to the wishes of management after he was sent packing. And now he's the guy with the bad knee.

But don't the vast expanses of foul territory in Oakland require that the corner outfielders have some range as well?

16.   Ken Arneson
2005-12-13 18:59

16.  14 I believe you're right, Jason, that he's not a free agent until after '07, but in the worst case scenario, where he self-destructs, you're not going to want him in '07. You'd just non-tender him after '06.

17.   Ken Arneson
2005-12-13 19:01

17.  15 I don't think it's the corner outfielders who need range in Oakland so much as the corner infielders. The foul territory in the outfield corners is negligable.

18.   HomeDePo
2005-12-13 21:46

18.  Just thought I should let you know I used an excerpt off of this post on my blog:


I linked you, and I think it is great for Dodger fan's to hear your opinion on the deal.

19.   Strike4
2005-12-13 23:02

19.  Men often change after becoming fathers. Most calm down with the added perspective, although some get crazier from the added responsibilities. With fatherhood arriving, plus a new environment (again), maybe this will be the year Milton avoids being his own worst enemy.

20.   jmoney
2005-12-13 23:36

20.  My Thoughts:

1) I love this trade. The best hope for Andre Ethier is that he turns into Milton Bradley, and even that would be a few years down the line. The A's are good enough to win now, and should be going after it.

2) The A's should still try to sign Frank Thomas. A lineup with Bradley and Thomas would be excellent, and plus, as Ken said, we have a few guys who are going to miss games with injuries, so depth can't hurt.

3) Wither Bobby Kielty and Marco Scutaro?
Who cares

4) Hopefully Payton won't bitch about being the 4th outfielder, given that he'll likely get playing time anyway due to matchups and injuries, but if he does, fuck him. Realistically, on a good team, he is a fourth outfielder. If he's not happy, eat his contract and ditch him.

I was at a party, so this might not be that coherent. Still, I reiterate that I love this trade.

21.   Slikk
2005-12-14 07:50

21.  Good luck to you guys, but I speak for a lot of us in LA who say 'good riddance' to Mr. Bradley. His talent is good but, in my estimation, definitely not worth the baggage.

Here's hoping that Ethier keeps up his progress!

22.   bluecrew22
2005-12-14 18:36

22.  You know, as a Dodger fan, I was thrilled when the Dodgers got Bradley. Now I am thrilled to see him go. The worst part is always wondering when (not if) he is going to explode. He can't be counted upon because there is always the risk of him getting suspended and/or embarassing the organization. He is just too emotional to keep his head in the game. He is talented but not as talented as he is sometimes cracked up to be. Good luck A's!

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