MLB rumors: Brewers interested in Jackie Bradley Jr.; Rangers sign Ian Kennedy

MLB spring training games will begin on Sunday. But until then, teams are finishing their last-minute shopping. Here, then, is a look at Monday’s rumors.

Brewers in mix for Bradley Jr.

The Brewers are among the teams competing to land outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., per Robert Murray of FanSided

Bradley Jr. is the best free agent remaining on the market. He entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the 12th best free agent overall. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Bradley Jr. isn’t a freaky-deaky athlete in the vein of, say, Kevin Kiermaier or Ramon Laureano. What he is, though, is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game. He darts into space as if he’s Mike Campbell, and he plays the position with an admirable precision — to the extent that his routes appear preprogrammed. Bradley Jr. isn’t a zero at the plate, either. The Red Sox allowed him to face more lefties the past two years, and he put up good numbers against them in 2020. (His next team will probably relegate him back to platoon status.) He’s good for double-digit homers and an OPS over .760 against righties. That’ll play just fine with his glove. 

The Brewers would seem to be an interesting fit for Bradley Jr., as they already have three well-compensated outfielders, in Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Avisail Garcia. Bradley Jr. would, presumably, take over in center field, with Cain sliding to right and Garcia presumably receiving a reduced role depending on health and performance.

The Brewers were also reportedly a contender for Justin Turner’s services, suggesting they have some money they’d like to spend between now and Opening Day.

The Rangers have signed veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy to a minor-league deal, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Kennedy, 36, followed up a resurgent 2019 season with a brutal 2020 that saw him allow 20 hits, 17 runs, and seven home runs in 14 innings. Nonetheless, the Rangers will bring him to camp and allow him to compete for a roster spot.

Kennedy will have plenty of competition: the Rangers have also Hyeon-Jong Yang, Jharel Cotton, Nick Vincent, Hunter Wood, and Spencer Patton in camp, among other notable pitchers.

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