Why Are The Washington Nationals Pursuing Milton Bradley?

Former Montreal Expos' draft pick and former enfant terrible, free agent outfielder Milton Bradley, is apparently drawing interest from the Washington Nationals, as FOXSports.com writer Ken Rosenthal briefly mentioned in a 12/23/08 article entitled, "Angels standing pat on offense...for now", where the Nationals were listed as one of four teams looking at the possibility of signing the 30-year-old outfielder, and now MLB.com's Bill Ladson has picked up the story in an article entitled, "Nationals in serious pursuit of Bradley", and ESPN.com's news services have produced an article entitled, "Cubs trade DeRosa to Indians", which quotes anonymous sources estimating the duration and dollars of the deal DC's offered. 

In MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Nationals in serious pursuit of Bradley", Mr. Ladson pulls no punches in his assessment of Lastings Milledge's troubles in center, restating the fact that Washington wants him in a corner spot, and writing, "Milledge had trouble going back on fly balls and has a weak arm," which is why Mr. Ladson believes DC could acquire Bradley to play center, though a look at Bradley's baseball-reference.com stat page shows that he hasn't played center regularly since 2005 (with the Dodgers), and he only played 20 games in the outfield total in 2008 with Texas, spending the majority of time hitting, and putting up a .321 AVG with 32 doubles, 22 HR's, 77 RBI's, a .436 OBP, .563 SLG, and .999 OPS as the Rangers' DH. 

The article generated by the ESPN.com news services entitled, "Cubs trade DeRosa to Indians", reports that, "...the Washington Nationals are believed to have offered Bradley $30 million over three years", at least according to their "sources", who also note that the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays are looking to acquire the outfielder, with the Cubs making several moves today, which could open the way for a deal either with Bradley or for Jake Peavy from the Padres depending upon whose article you're reading... 

So the Nationals see Lastings Milledge as a corner outfielder. The Nationals acquired Josh Willingham to play left. And now, the Nationals are trying to acquire Milton Bradley to play center? What does the mean for Elijah Dukes? For Austin Kearns? Can anyone make sense of the Nationals' offseason game plan? A front-end starter should be high on the list? Not just the promise of Daniel Cabrera's arm...And shouldn't DC still be trying for a first baseman? MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article reaffirms the Nationals' intentions towards Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson, but neither player seems eager to sign...

What will the New Year bring for DC's Nationals? Spring Training's less than three months away...

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