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The Kansas City Royals signed veteran Jackie Bradley Jr. to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, where he will have an opportunity to earn playing time in a wide-open outfield.

The Royals recently traded incumbent center fielder Michael A. Taylor to Minnesota for pitching prospects, and Drew Waters appeared first in line to take over the job. But he strained an oblique and is expected to miss the start of the season, leaving the Royals with an intriguing competition in spring training.

The 32-year-old Bradley will have to overcome Kyle Isbel, among other young prospects, to earn the starting job.

Bradley was an All-Star during eight seasons with Boston, where he was highly regarded for his defense but often failed to live up to expectations at the plate. He signed a two-year, $24 million deal with Milwaukee two years ago, but hit just .163 and was sent back to Boston before being released and signing with Toronto.

He batted .203 with four homers and 38 RBIs in 131 games between the Red Sox and Blue Jays last season.

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Royals sign ex-All-Star Jackie Bradley Jr. to minor league deal