Astros sign Brantley to 2-year, $32M contract
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The Houston Astros have signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $32 million, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

The contract doesn't include any option years, and while the terms have been agreed to, Passan reports there's still a bit of work to be done before it becomes official.

Brantley solves an immediate need for the Astros as a left-handed hitter with excellent on-base abilities. Houston's lineup is stacked, but also hits primarily from the right side, meaning Brantley could fit seamlessly into the order.

Astros' projected 2019 lineup

Player Bats Pos.
George Springer R CF
Alex Bregman R 3B
Jose Altuve R 2B
Carlos Correa R SS
Michael Brantley L LF
Yuli Gurriel R 1B
Tyler White R DH
Josh Reddick L RF
Robinson Chirinos R C

The Astros are apparently planning for Brantley to see time at left field, first base, and designated hitter, according to Passan. Brantley's only played in the outfield (both left and center) in the major leagues; all of his 53 appearances as a first baseman were in the minors, with the most recent one coming in 2008.

Houston and Brantley have been connected in recent weeks, and it was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on the weekend that the team was considering making a play for both Brantley and free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz. The team is engaged in "extensive talks" with Cruz, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Monday.

The 31-year-old Brantley has spent his entire 10-year career with the Cleveland Indians. He's a three-time All-Star who won a Silver Slugger in 2014, the same year he finished third in AL MVP voting, and led the majors in doubles (45) in 2015. However, he's lost a significant amount of time to injuries, and played in just 101 total contests during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Brantley returned to his pre-injury form with an excellent season in 2018. He appeared in 143 games - his highest total in four years - and slashed .309/.364/.468 with 17 homers, 36 doubles, 76 RBIs, 17 stolen bases, and a 9.5 percent strikeout rate for the AL Central champion Indians, and was named AL Comeback Player of the Year by his peers.

The Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago White Sox were also said to be interested in signing Brantley this winter.

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Astros sign Brantley to 2-year, $32M contract
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