HOUSTON – An misguided report saying Michael Brantley had agreed to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays had the outfielder fielding goodbye texts from his Houston Astros teammates most of Wednesday morning.
By the afternoon those self same teammates had been sending him notes of congratulations and welcoming him again after he agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros.
“There have been lots of lots of combined feelings, clearly, in a small timeframe,” Brantley mentioned Monday. “However I acquired lots of nice texts and I’m excited to be again, and lots of my teammates reached out to me they usually’re excited that I’m coming again. So it means the world to me.”
Whereas Brantley by no means had a deal in place with Toronto, he admitted he was in discussions with the crew.
“We had been shut,” he mentioned. “Clearly we had been in talks and there was curiosity on each side, however… every little thing labored for the place I needed to be.”
Houston normal supervisor James Click on mentioned the crew had been in conversations with Brantley for months, however negotiations heated up when the Astros discovered the Blue Jays additionally had been pursuing him. The Astros had already misplaced George Springer to the Blue Jays a day earlier than when he signed a $150 million, six-year contract, they usually could not afford to lose one other beginning outfielder.
“I don’t know if there’s any substitute for the sensation that one thing may may be going away to essentially make you give attention to how a lot you worth one thing,” Click on mentioned. “And so I feel it’s not possible to say that it didn’t on some degree spur us on.”
Brantley spent the final two years in Houston after enjoying for Cleveland for his first 10 MLB seasons. Brantley hit .300 with 5 homers and 22 RBIs in 46 video games in final yr’s pandemic-shortened season. He had three house runs and 11 RBIs in 13 playoff video games final yr because the Astros got here a win shy of reaching the World Sequence for the second straight season.
He earned $5,555,555 in prorated pay from a $15 million wage as a part of a $32 million, two-year deal that included a $2 million signing bonus.
Brantley is a four-time All-Star and a 2014 Silver Slugger award winner. He has a .297 common with 114 homers and 640 RBIs in his profession.
Brantley and Springer are shut associates and he mentioned he’ll miss enjoying with the middle fielder subsequent season. However Brantley determined that he’d somewhat keep in Houston and chase a title after arising quick in his first two seasons with the crew.
“Having the run the final two years that we did and having the participant relationships that I did, I actually needed to return again right here and to type of end this factor off,” Brantley mentioned. “Now we have … unfinished enterprise.”
Brantley, who’s primarily a left fielder, is wanting ahead to enjoying protection once more this season after serving because the crew’s designated hitter final yr after 2019 AL Rookie of the 12 months Yordan Álvarez had season-ending knee surgical procedure. Brantley performed simply 19 of his 46 video games within the outfield final season after beginning 123 of his 148 video games within the outfield in his first yr with the Astros.
“I prefer to contribute on each side of the ball,” he mentioned. “Simply being on the market on the protection I really feel I can do rather a lot for the crew. So it’s not all the time about getting the large hit or hitting, you are able to do the work on each side of the ball.”
Click on is relieved that he was in a position to deliver again Brantley and believes the 33-year-old might be an vital veteran presence on a crew that has gotten considerably youthful within the final yr.
“Michael is as useful to this franchise off the sphere as he’s on it by way of the management that he brings within the clubhouse,” Click on mentioned. “And by way of who he’s as an individual, you’ll be able to’t put a put a finger on that. So having him again, I feel does a does an actual good factor for our lineup. However much more, it does actual great point for our clubhouse.”
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