NASHVILLE -- Who said there are no bargains to be had in free agency?
The San Diego Padres apparently have found one, and they didn't have to look very hard to find it.
A baseball source said Thursday that the Padres are close to signing free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley to a one-year deal worth a reported $4 million.
Bradley, 29, hit .313 with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs in just 42 games with the Padres last season. He was obtained in June from the A's and had an immediate impact on the team's lineup, though he battled an oblique and hamstring injury.
Bradley suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the final week of the regular season after a much-publicized run-in with umpire Mike Winters, though Kevin Towers has been told by Bradley's agent that he will be ready on or near Opening Day, though May 1 may be a more realistic date.
Bradley had surgery to repair his torn ACL and meniscus on Sept. 27. The usual recovery for such a surgery is six to 12 months.
Bradley is said to have received a very encouraging report on his knee this week from the doctor who performed his surgery, Cincinnati-based Dr. Timothy Kremchek.
Towers said that Bradley has lost 15 pounds this offseason. Bradley had received interest from other teams this week at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., most notably from the Texas Rangers.
The Padres declined to offer Bradley arbitration last week, though they have a better idea now, medically, where he's at.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.