Bradley agrees to one-year deal

Updated: November 19, 2003, 6:22 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Milton Bradley agreed Wednesday to a $1.73 million, one-year contract for 2004 with the Cleveland Indians, who avoided going to salary arbitration with the temperamental outfielder.

Bradley batted .321 with 10 homers and 56 RBI last season, but he missed the final six weeks with a lower back injury. He led the Indians with 17 steals despite missing 61 games with injuries.

Bradley opened last season with a 14-game hitting streak, and at the All-Star break he was among the AL's leaders in batting average, walks, doubles and steals.

However, Bradley was also making a name for himself by angering some opposing teams with showboating antics. He has a habit of ripping off his batting gloves after connecting for a home run.

He also threw his helmet and bat in the direction of plate umpire Bruce Froemming during a game in Oakland, and had to be restrained by manager Eric Wedge.

While he was on the disabled list in August, police cited Bradley for speeding and fleeing when an officer tried to ticket him.

Bradley appeared in only 98 games during the 2002 season, missing time after suffering an eye injury when he was hit trying to make a catch. He also had an emergency appendectomy.

During his first full season with the Indians, Bradley was taken to a hospital by emergency medical workers after refusing to leave a restaurant because he was drunk.

The Indians acquired Bradley in a trade from the Montreal Expos in 2001 for pitcher Zach Day.

While in the minors, Bradley spit gum at one umpire, reportedly slapped another ump in a fall league game and served a seven-game suspension for starting a brawl.

During contract negotiations with the Indians, he expressed a desire to establish a program to help underprivileged youth.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press