Warning, hyperbole ahead:
Burrell will earn $9 million next season, while Bradley is owed $21 million over the next two years.
The Rays want the Cubs to pay the vast majority of the difference. The teams are a mere $2 million to $3 million apart over the two years, one source said.
The source described the negotiations as "worse than Chinese water torture."
Another said, "I wish cattle prods were legal."
Burrell is due $9M next year, however he got a $2M advance from the Rays, so he's actually only due $7M. Bradley is due $9M and then $12M in 2011. You can see how a few million is being lost in the shuffle, although we don't know how much is already being paid for by the Cubs. At some point the new owner of the Cubs has to flex his wallets and pick up the entire tab, right? Maybe not, but root for it anyways. That would give the Rays the ability to dump Bradley at any point if he gets a case of the crazies.
As for performance, I'm pretty sure people are being too harsh on Burrell. Yes, he was horrible, no he shouldn't be as horrible. ZiPS has him around a .330 wOBA and if he bounces back like Paul Sorrento or Danny Tartabull did, then he'll be closer to .350. A .340 wOBA from a DH isn't great, mind you, but it's better than .300. Bradley is more difficult to project. He's hit well everywhere, even last year he wasn't as bad as many made him to be, the problem is you cannot tell whether he'll miss 90 games because of an injury or what.
Admittedly, I was a bigger fan of Bradley because of the idea that he may come cheaper with the excess baggage. As it turns out, that might be the case after all.