Quick Hits: JBJ, Mets, Ohtani, Yankees (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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The Mets were connected to free-agent center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. earlier in the offseason, but the two sides did not come close to an agreement, Andy Martino of SNY.tv writes. The club has agreed to sign fellow center fielders Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora Jr. in recent days, and now the chances of it adding Bradley are “practically nonexistent,” according to Martino. If true, that eliminates one logical suitor for Bradley, a longtime member of the Red Sox and one of the top free agents remaining on the market.

  • Angels right-hander/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani threw a 27-pitch bullpen session Thursday, and his velocity topped out at 90 mph, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. Ohtani, who’s coming off a season limited by a right flexor strain, averaged a little over 93 mph on his heater from 2018-20, but he’s not concerned about his early camp velocity drop. “It was my first bullpen, so I’m not too worried about the velo,” Ohtani said (via Fletcher). Ohtani’s arm problems (including September 2019 Tommy John surgery) limited him to just 1 2/3 innings of pitching over the previous two seasons, but the hope is that he’ll re-emerge this year as an important member of the Angels’ rotation.
  • Yankees righty Luis Severino is throwing from 120 feet and could return to the mound in the next few weeks, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Severino was one of the elite pitchers in the game from 2017-18, but injuries have cut him down since then. He threw only 12 innings in 2019 because of shoulder issues and then didn’t pitch at all last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. But if he bounces back this year, Severino and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole could comprise one of the best one-two punches of any rotation in baseball.
  • More on the Yankees, who do have interest in re-signing free-agent outfielder Brett Gardner, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. It’s “likely” the Yankees would keep him in the vicinity of $3MM, Heyman relays. As of last week, though, the career-long Yankee, 37, and the club reportedly hadn’t engaged in any contract negotiations.

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