The Milwaukee Brewers made the previously reported Jackie Bradley, Jr. signing official earlier today, as the outfielder joins the team on a two-year pact that includes an opt-out after 2021. This was the first time that an opt-out clause was used during David Stearns’ tenure at the helm, although that feels only technically true after the mutual options that were given to and declined by Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal when they signed one-year contracts before the 2019 season. In any case, JBJ is excited to be joining the Crew:
Jackie Bradley Jr. on putting on #Brewers uniform for the first time today: "It was great. It was a breath of fresh air. To finally be out here, and moving around. I'm glad to be here. I'm really excited for the opportunity. And I'm going to have a lot of fun with these guys.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 8, 2021
To make room for Bradley, Jr. on the 40-man roster, the Brewers placed utilityman Tim Lopes on the 60-day Injured List with a strained right oblique. He suffered the injury while swinging during a Cactus League game on March 3rd. Lopes had been in competition for an Opening Day roster spot as a versatile bench piece after he was claimed off waivers from the Mariners during the offseason, but now won’t be able to return until after the first couple months of the season.
Speaking of injury issues, we learned earlier today that Lorenzo Cain had been shut down for the previous week with right quadriceps strain that was suffered while running on the bases in the early part of camp. Cain, who opted out of the 2020 season after five games, may have been pushing himself a bit too hard to start with after his time away and now will be pushing things a bit in order to be ready for Opening Day on April 1st. Cain told the Journal Sentinel that he prefers “50-60 at-bats” during Spring Training games but now won’t play in a game until after the team’s off-day on March 17th.
Even if the aging Cain, who turns 35 on April 13th and has a checkered injury history, is ready to go on Opening Day, he stands out as a candidate to receive regular maintenance days off during the upcoming season. Along with the right-handed hitting Avisail Garcia, that should leave plenty of opportunity for the lefty-swinging Bradley, Jr. to receive regular playing time for the Brewers during the upcoming campaign.