A's Get Bradley, Perez; Lose Ethier

The Oakland A's improved their offense and shored up their bench in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The A's acquired outfielder Milton Bradley and infielder Antonio Perez for minor league outfielder Andre Ethier. Bradley, who had fallen out of favor with the Dodgers, was rumored to be a target of A's GM Billy Beane since Bradley's days with the Cleveland Indians.

The A's acquired some much needed outfield offense on Tuesday with the addition of the sometimes controversial Milton Bradley from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Oakland also picked up infielder Antonio Perez, who was rumored to be coming to Oakland last off-season in a trade for Tim Hudson. In return, the A's sent outfielder Andre Ethier to the Dodgers. Ethier was ranked third in our recent countdown of the A's top-50 prospects. He was the Texas League Most Valuable Player and the A's Organizational Player of the Year in 2005.

Bradley is a switch-hitter with good speed, good power and an above-average glove. He has primarily been a centerfielder throughout his career, although he spent time in right-field with the Dodgers in 2004. Bradley was an instrumental part of the Dodgers' 2004 NL West championship when he hit .269 with 19 homers and 67 runs batted in over a career-high 141 games. He hit a career-high .321 with a .421 on-base percentage in 2003 with the Cleveland Indians, although he was only able to play in 101 games.

Health has always been a big issue with Bradley and he will be coming off of a major injury to his left knee, which required surgery in August and helped limit him to only 75 games in 2005. It is unclear if he will be 100% at the start of spring training. He has had some notorious run-ins with his past teams, including an incident with Jeff Kent last year and an argument with Indians' manager Eric Wedge in 2004, which led to his trade to Los Angeles. Bradley also had an altercation with a Dodgers' fan at the end of the 2004 season, which led to a late-season suspension. On the flip-side, Bradley has often been praised for his philanthropy and was one of the Dodgers most popular players.

Perez should provide more versatility and speed to the A's bench next season. The right-handed hitting Perez was once an uber-prospect who was considered one of the keys in the Ken Griffey, Jr. to Cincinnati trade. He isn't the prospect he once was, but Perez should be productive in a bench role with Oakland. He appeared in 98 games last season, split between second, short and third base for the Dodgers. Perez hit .297 with three homers, 23 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. He has good power and hit 22 homers in the PCL for the Las Vegas 51's in 2004. Perez is considered average defensively at second (his natural position) and below average at short and third, although this was his first season with significant time at third base. He will likely be taken under the wing of the A's fielding guru Ron Washington. Perez joins Marco Scutaro, Freddie Bynum and Hiram Bocachica as infield depth for the A's.

Oakland will be losing one of its best minor league stories for 2005 in Andre Ethier. Ethier, who had off-season back surgery, came seemingly out of nowhere to post a storybook 2005 season. He hit .319 and was named the Texas League MVP. He also won the Texas League All-Star Game Home Run Derby and the Game's MVP trophy. Ethier was drafted in the second round of the 2003 draft out of Arizona State. He is a very athletic left-handed hitter with a smooth swing and good fielding instincts. He has played some centerfield in the past, although he has only average speed and is probably better suited for left or right-field. Ethier was likely to start the 2006 season in AAA with Oakland, but he may get a chance to compete for a roster spot with the Dodgers in the spring if they don't acquire another outfielder. Ethier will be 24 at the start of spring training.

Stay tuned to OaklandClubhouse.com tonight for a deeper analysis of this trade and its affect both on the A's and on the A's minor league system.

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