Multiple reports on Wednesday morning suggested that veteran outfielder/DH Michael Brantley was in agreement to join his good buddy and former Astros teammate George Springer with the Blue Jays. Those reports evidently were premature or outright false, as Brantley has now reached a new agreement to stay in Houston, where he spent the past two seasons. Brantley’s deal will pay him $32 million over two seasons, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Texas.
MLB source: #Astros reach an agreement with Michael Brantley on a two-year deal worth $32 million.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 20, 2021
The 33-year-old Brantley, who has hit .309/.370/.497 over two seasons in Houston, may make the difference in the Astros remaining competitive in the AL West. While it’s a risky bet to play him in the field due to his lengthy injury history, Brantley figures to slot into a corner outfield spot provided that DH Yordan Alvarez returns from a knee injury that limited him to two games in 2020.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Well then, it appears as though the Blue Jays are not messing around.
Toronto already had a lineup that sported some of the game’s best young hitters highlighted by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Then, they put their money where their mouth was as they went out and grabbed Kirby Yates for their bullpen and then signed George Springer to a six year deal to add defense and offensive upside to their outfield.
If the Blue Jays had stopped there, it would still be seen as a job well done this offseason. It is a team that still had a question or two, but a very solid, better team than the one that is coming off a playoff appearance.
However, the Blue Jays were not done.
Michael Brantley in agreement on a 3 year deal with #BlueJays per source.— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) January 20, 2021
Now that the Blue Jays have poached arguably two of the Astros better hitters over the last couple of years, they have one of the scarier lineups in the league. Toronto gave Springer big time money, so it will be interesting to see what the final financials are going to be for Brantley’s deal. However, the timing of the deal coming right after Springer’s signing suggests that Brantley was pretty interested in continuing to play with Springer.
One nice thing about Brantley is that because Toronto is in the AL, he can slot right in as the team’s primary DH. There is reason to think that guys like Vladdy Jr. and Rowdy Tellez may have to end up there at some up, but in the near term they have positions in the field that they can play reasonably well.