Even though we seemingly have the entire off-season to talk about next year’s affairs, this doesn’t feel like a bad time to get into some of the stuff we have to look forward to next year. For the most part, it feels like we’re set with the Youth Movement (which I love, but most casual fans loathe). Getting their first taste of Full Time, Full Season Duty will be Adam Moore (C), Michael Saunders (LF), Justin Smoak (1B) and potentially Dustin Ackley (2B). Throw in established (with varying degrees of productive-ness) starters Chone Figgins (3B), Jack Wilson (SS), Franklin Gutierrez (CF), and Ichiro (RF), that leaves us squarely with the dilemma of the Designated Hitter. A black hole ever since future Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez retired back in 2004. We’ve used such dreck as Jose Vidro, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Sweeney, and others, with no success whatsoever. Currently, we’ve got The Muscle, who may have an awesome nickname (Russell Branyan), and will hit you the occasional dinger (bank on 30 unless his regular aches and pains keep him out for significant time), but will also strike out a shit-ton and pretty much has a batting average on par with the aforementioned dreck. However, his is only an option that we don’t necessarily have to pick up next year. Whom we have no choice in the matter is one Milton Bradley (much to my chagrin, as I’d forgotten he existed since being on the DL for so long). Pen him in for 1 more guaranteed year at a little over $13 million (potentially over $18 million if you count the money we’re still paying on Carlos Silva’s contract) and I pretty much just want to skip next year and go straight to the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. He will be the 2nd highest salaried player on our team next year, which makes me want to vomit (and, again, if you want to count the money the Cubs get to employ a now-decent Silva, he’s the 1st highest on the team). AND, Milton Bradley is a man without a position, if we indeed opt to give Michael Saunders a full-time slot. So, there you go. Designated Hitter: Milton Bradley (with the option for occasional left field duty if we’re feeling particularly sadistic). I know there will technically be money to spend next year, but holy fucking cow what are we going to do with it? Let $18 mil ride the pine? I hate you so much Bill Bavasi. YOU DID THIS!