With the MLB General Managers meetings taking place at the luxurious O’Hare Hilton, everyone knew that trading clubhouse cancer Milton Bradley was Cubs GM Jim Hendry’s first priority. No one knew, though, how low he would go until today, when he reportedly swapped the right fielder for a case of CTA fare cards.

“This is a great deal for Cubs fans and the Ricketts family ownership team,” Hendry said at a hastily called press conference at the O’Hare stop of the CTA’s Blue Line. “No MLB team would touch this guy or his contract, but the CTA figured that his professionalism and personable demeanor would make him a great customer service assistant at the Addison Red Line stop.”

Hendry pointed out that the team could recoup much of the $21 million owed on Bradley’s contract by using the fare cards to have current Cubs players, coaches and front office staff take public transportation to O’Hare or Midway for flights to road games, instead of paying for a team bus ride.

“These cards are fully charged, and apparently you can reload them with even more money,” said Hendry. “We figure we’ll save a significant figure, enough to maybe sign an injury-prone third-rate middle infielder.”

The CTA declined comment for the time being, as their lawyers were trying to discover if they can just pay Bradley the regular union hourly rate, and fold the rest of the Cubs money into their capital fund.

By Bill Savage, Heckler reader and baseball expert