Bradley appreciates 'respect' shown in arb case

February 21st, 2020

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- came away from his salary-arbitration hearing a winner in terms of money -- the three-person arbitration panel picked his number of $4.1 million, instead of the D-backs' offer of $3.625 million when the decision was announced on Friday.

The way Arizona's front office handled the hearing and the aftermath, though, gave Bradley something else.

“As I’m growing up, I think the word ‘respect’ grows a lot on you and you value it more and more, and understand what that actually means to be respected,” Bradley said. “Especially in this game, I think that’s one of the highest compliments you can have is respect. I just feel respected by our front office, man.”

How did the front office make Bradley feel respected? General manager Mike Hazen and his two top assistants, Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, showed up for the hearing, which was argued by a third party, and they talked with Bradley beforehand about what to expect.

Then the morning after Tuesday’s hearing, they called Bradley into manager Torey Lovullo’s office and gave him a chance to let them know if anything didn’t sit well with him.

“I’ve heard from a lot of other players about teams not even showing up, not even sitting in the hearing for their guys,” Bradley said. “Just as a man, I feel respected by those guys and that’s a really good feeling for me.”

It is something that Hazen has done for all four of the salary-arbitration hearings he has gone through since becoming the club's GM prior to the 2017 season.

“He’s always been very up front, honest, clear with players,” Porter said. “He’s always given players a voice. That’s never changed. That’s been part of his core since I met him back in 2005. If we’re going to go to a hearing with one of our Major League players and someone [representing] the Diamondbacks is going to paint a picture of that player, we’re going to all be in there to represent that and make sure nothing is lost in translation or no one is [hiding behind anything]. Again, that’s another thing Mike has kind of taught all of us. I think that’s been very beneficial to the relationship we have with our players.”

Bradley finished the 2019 season as the D-backs' closer. He had 18 saves to go with a 3.52 ERA in 66 outings, with 87 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings.

Speaking of Bradley

Bradley is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut in Saturday’s opener against the Rockies. 

“I had the option to throw another live [batting practice] or get in a game,” Bradley said. “But just kind of with my slow start last year, I wanted to get in a game early this year. I wanted to get out there, face real hitters and get some real results, and start to evaluate myself based on an actual game.”

Last spring, the team eased Bradley into games after he had a heavy workload during the 2018 season. This year he wants to take the opposite approach.

“I’ve been very vocal about getting in there earlier this year and getting a couple of multi-inning stints as well just because I feel more comfortable that way,” Bradley said. “In one inning, I can really focus on what I need to work on and in the second inning add some stuff that I’m trying to take into the season.”

Another side for Bumgarner

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner will throw another batting practice session before being slotted into a Cactus League game.

Given that, it’s likely he could see his first game action late next week.

Up next
In addition to Alex Young starting and Bradley pitching in relief, Lovullo said he is likely to play right fielder Kole Calhoun, third baseman Jake Lamb, catcher Carson Kelly and shortstop Nick Ahmed in Saturday’s spring opener at 1:10 p.m. MT against the Rockies at Salt River Fields. Listen to the action live on Gameday Audio.