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Oakland becomes latest team to dump Bradley

Athletics GM Beane cites `playing-time issue,' says there's little room for oft-troubled outfielder.

June 22, 2007|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

First the Cleveland Indians, then the Dodgers, now the Oakland Athletics. For the third time in four years, a team dumped Milton Bradley.

The A's designated Bradley for assignment Thursday, one day after they activated the oft-troubled outfielder from the disabled list.

"Ultimately, there was going to be a playing-time issue," General Manager Billy Beane said.

Beane called the decision "proactive instead of reactive" but declined to say whether he feared Bradley would be disruptive if he did not play every day.

Bradley, 29, can file for free agency this fall. The A's have 10 days to trade or release him.

Beane said he had discussed a Bradley trade with an unspecified club in the last two weeks but said talks were complicated by Bradley's status on the disabled list. Any team that acquires him would owe him slightly more than $2 million, the balance of his $4-million salary.

"I think Milton sees himself as an everyday player, and he probably is," Beane said. "This will give him an opportunity to get out and probably play somewhere every day."

Beane said there would be little room for Bradley in the A's outfield now or in the future, with rookie Travis Buck emerging alongside Nick Swisher and Mark Kotsay and depth provided by Shannon Stewart, Bobby Kielty and Chris Snelling.

Bradley spent two tumultuous seasons with the Dodgers, including a suspension for slamming a water bottle tossed onto the field back into the stands, a clubhouse confrontation with a reporter during the playoffs and an accusation that teammate Jeff Kent could not deal with black players.

The Dodgers traded him to Oakland in December 2005, along with infielder Antonio Perez, for Andre Ethier. Bradley batted .276 with 14 home runs last year.

He has played in 19 games this season, batting .292 with two home runs. He has had two stints on the disabled list, with injuries to a hamstring and calf. He has been on the disabled list 11 times in the last six seasons.

Beane deflected a number of questions about Bradley's temperament with the A's, calling him "a good guy" and "a fiery, emotional guy."

The Indians traded Bradley to the Dodgers in the spring of 2004 after a confrontation with Manager Eric Wedge.

Sam Levinson, the agent for Bradley, did not immediately return a call for comment.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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