ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -The Texas Rangers filled one of their primary offseason needs Wednesday night when they acquired first baseman Ben Broussard from the Seattle Mariners for minor league infielder Tug Hulett.
Also Wednesday, outfielder Milton Bradley passed a physical, one of the final steps needed to complete a one-year deal with Texas. Bradley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and damaged cartilage when San Diego manager Bud Black spun him to the ground in September.
``We're satisfied with the results of the physical. He's recovering extremely well,'' general manager Jon Daniels said. ``He's walking with no limp. The doctor was pleased with his progress. Barring any setbacks, he should be a player for us very possibly in April.''
The Rangers also Wednesday declined to offer a 2008 contract to Akinori Otsuka, making the reliever a free agent.
Otsuka was 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA and four saves in 34 appearances last season before being sidelined the final three months of the season because of a sore right elbow. He had 32 saves for the Rangers in 2006 before returning to the setup role when Eric Gagne signed with Texas.
Broussard, a Texas native, hit .275 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 99 games this season for the Mariners. Primarily a first baseman throughout his career, Broussard also played the corner outfield spots for Seattle.
``He'll have a chance to play a more important role on our team and get an opportunity to play first,'' Daniels said. ``His versatility and flexibility does give us some options. But as we sit here today, he is most likely going to end up playing first base quite a bit.''
After trading Mark Teixeira to Atlanta in July, the Rangers used Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Brad Wilkerson and Frank Catalanotto at first base. Saltalamacchia, who came over from the Braves in the Teixeira deal, is expected to be a full-time catcher next season.
Texas doesn't plan to re-sign Wilkerson, a free agent, and Catalanotto can also play the outfield and be the designated hitter.
The Rangers previously acquired first baseman Chris Shelton in a trade from Detroit, but he spent all of last season in the minor leagues.
Bradley and the Rangers reached a preliminary agreement Sunday on a contract worth $5.25 million, but that was pending the physical that Bradley took Wednesday in Texas. Bradley played in Oakland in 2006, when Rangers manager Ron Washington was a coach there.
Bradley can earn an additional $2.75 million in performance bonuses with the Rangers.
Bradley was the second-half offensive catalyst for the Padres, who fell one win short of going to their third straight trip to the playoffs. But he got hurt when Black was trying to keep him from going after umpire Mike Winters during a confrontation on Sept. 23.
San Diego and Bradley, who has a history of losing his temper, claimed Winters baited the player into the confrontation and directed a profanity at him. Winters was suspended for the final five days of the regular season and didn't work the postseason.
Bradley finished the year hitting .306 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 61 games with Oakland and San Diego.
The Rangers anticipate Bradley eventually playing center field, but not at the beginning of the season.
``He's going to be ready earlier to DH than he is to play the outfield,'' Daniels said. ``Ron may kind of gradually work him in different spots until he feels his 100 percent. Our goal will be to get his bat in the lineup as early as we can.''
As for the prospects of re-signing Otsuka, Daniels didn't sound optimistic.
``We just couldn't find any common ground,'' Daniels said. ``The risk was more than we felt comfortable with. ... We talked about some type of shared-risk deal.''
While there had been positive reports from Otsuka's rehabilitation, Daniels said that wasn't enough without some protection in the contract for the team.
Hulett was a 14th-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2004 and has yet to play in the majors. He hit .275 with 11 homers and 67 RBIs in 132 games at Triple-A Oklahoma last season.
To make room on their roster for Broussard, the Rangers designated outfielder Nick Gorneault for assignment. Texas then failed to offer Gorneault a 2008 contract, making him a free agent.

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