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Red Sox Acquire Chad Bradford


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Payton's new place will be Oakland


As the result of a confrontation with manager Terry Francona, the Red Sox have designated outfielder Jay Payton for assignment and will trade him to the A's for reliever Chad Bradford.


01:00 AM EDT on Friday, July 8, 2005



Journal Sports Writer


BALTIMORE -- After a late-inning dugout confrontation with manager Terry Francona Wednesday night forced their hand, the Red Sox designated outfielder Jay Payton for assignment yesterday and have a deal in place to send him to the Oakland A's for reliever Chad Bradford.


Because Bradford, who underwent back surgery in the spring, is currently on the disabled list, the trade can't be announced until the All-Star break, when the veteran reliever, currently on a rehab assignment, is activated.


According to multiple industry sources, the Sox had the deal in place and were waiting for Bradford to be activated. But Payton's actions Wednesday night at Texas' Ameriquest Field hastened his departure.


Payton's unhappiness has been well documented ever since he went public with his desire to be traded last month, and the Sox have been attempting to meet his request. When Payton verbally jousted with Francona Wednesday night, his fate was sealed.


Payton and John Olerud were inserted as defensive replacements in the bottom of the seventh, with Payton taking over for Johnny Damon in center and Olerud replacing Kevin Millar at first. But when Payton learned that he would hit sixth -- in Millar's spot -- and Olerud would hit leadoff -- in Damon's spot -- he erupted, several sources said, claiming that this signified a lack of confidence in his ability as a hitter.


In reality, Francona wanted to avoid having the left-handed-hitting Olerud bat immediately after another lefty, Trot Nixon, the fifth hitter. Such an alignment would have made it easier for Rangers manager Buck Showalter to bring in a lefty reliever to face consecutive hitters.


A miffed Payton angrily shouted: "That's it -- I'm out of here."


Indeed, he was. Immediately after the game, Payton was told he was being designated for assignment, and instead of flying on the team charter to Baltimore, was told to return to Boston yesterday morning and await word on his fate.


Francona would not confirm or deny the Wednesday night incident other than to say yesterday: "Jay was having a very difficult time handling his (backup) role. He was a pretty good player when he played, but it was a challenge for him to (fill) that role. At times, it was very frustrating for him and hard for him to hide that frustration . . . It was time to move on."


One Red Sox player said yesterday that Payton's constant carping about insufficient playing time had gotten much worse in the last week and had angered many of his teammates.


Payton was obtained from San Diego along with Ramon Vazquez -- ironically, also dealt by the Sox yesterday in a separate transaction -- for ALCS hero Dave Roberts. Payton appeared in 55 games for the Sox, hitting .263 with five homers and 21 RBI.


Bradford, 32, made a rehab appearance Tuesday night for Class A Stockton, having spent time on the 60-day DL. The submarining right-hander, who has spent parts of seven seasons in the major leagues, enjoyed his best year in 2003, when he went 7-4 in 72 games for the A's, compiling a 3.04 E.R.A.


Last season, he pitched in 68 games, going 5-6 with 4.42 E.R.A. His sinking fastball generates lots of ground balls, and the Sox believe he can help them in the sixth and seventh innings.


Payton is in the final year of a deal that pays him $2.75 million. It's believed the Sox will send some of the $2.6 million they received from San Diego last December to Oakland to help facilitate the trade.


With Payton gone and no backup outfielder on the roster, the Red Sox yesterday summoned Rule V selection Adam Stern from Pawtucket. Stern, who missed most of spring training because of a broken thumb and then missed additional time with a pulled hamstring, started in place of Damon in center field last night.


Stern, who was staying in a Pawtucket hotel while on his injury rehab assignment with the PawSox, had his cell phone turned off as team manager Ron Johnson frantically tried to reach him yesterday morning to tell him of his promotion. Eventually, the club had a hotel employee go to his room and knock on his door.


"I packed up real quick," said Stern.


He was surprised to find that he would be in the lineup immediately, a situation made necessary by Damon's aching right shoulder.


"It caught me off guard a little bit," said Stern. "It will be nice to play in a game (right away). I'll just get (his major-league debut) out of the way and not think too much about it."


As a Rule V pick, Stern must stay on the major-league roster all season. If not, he would then be placed on waivers and offered back to the Atlanta Braves, from whom the Sox drafted him last December.


"All I can do is play," he said. "Someone else makes those decisions."


Francona said Stern "definitely throws very well. He has a strong arm and knows how to throw. He can play all three outfield positions and he's very good defensively. The adjustment to major-league pitching is always a question mark.


"This will be a test for him, but I think he can help us win games because of his glove and his baserunning."


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Interesting. Did the door to trade Kotsay just open?


I think this sets the wheels in motion for him to go to the MFYankees.


Ive also read that Beane is pushing to keep him as of late.


Byrnes maybe on the block....



A's have a new owner, he has reportedly has become infactuated with the game of baseball. If he is going to open his wallet to fuel his love is another subject.

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