Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bradley and Calero sign with Athletics

Outfielder Milton Bradley and right-hander Kiko Calero agreed to one-year contracts with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration.

Bradley, hoping to return to his top form after a season-ending left knee injury Aug. 23 that required surgery, will receive $3 million with the chance to earn an additional $200,000 in performance bonuses. Calero receives an $850,000 salary.

"We've been discussing them for the last couple weeks," assistant general manager David Forst said. "We felt good about it and we were confident we'd get them done before we had to file numbers."

The A's acquired the switch-hitting Bradley in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Dec. 13 to upgrade their offense and hit around Eric Chavez. Bradley, who became known for his volatile behavior last season that included a run-in with teammate Jeff Kent, is expected to be Oakland's starting right fielder.

A's general manager Billy Beane said when he dealt for Bradley that the past is the past and he believes the outfielder will fit in well in Oakland's laid-back clubhouse. Bradley agreed, and said he has been misunderstood at times.

"I'm all about winning. I'm not going out there to just go through the motions and have fun," he said last month.

The 27-year-old Bradley batted .290 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs in 283 at-bats last season. He was limited to 75 games, missing extensive playing time because of a torn ligament in his right ring finger.

Bradley hit .267 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs in 141 games for the Dodgers in 2004, and .321 with 10 homers and 56 RBIs in 101 games for the Indians in 2003.

The 31-year-old Calero made 58 relief appearances in his first season for the A's in 2005, going 4-1 record with a 3.23 ERA and earning one save. He allowed opponents to hit .216 against him, including .170 to first batters faced — which ranked sixth lowest among American League relievers.

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