HOUSTON (AP) — An faulty 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 have been sending him notes of congratulations and welcoming him again after he agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros. He’ll earn salaries of $16 million yearly.
”There have been loads of loads of blended feelings, clearly, in a small timeframe,” Brantley mentioned Monday. ”However I bought loads of nice texts and I am excited to be again, and loads of my teammates reached out to me they usually’re excited that I am 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 have been shut,” he mentioned. ”Clearly we have been in talks and there was curiosity on each side, however… the whole lot labored for the place I wished to be.”
Houston basic supervisor James Click on mentioned the crew had been in conversations with Brantley for months, however negotiations heated up when the Astros realized the Blue Jays additionally have 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 do not know if there’s any substitute for the sensation that one thing may is likely to be going away to actually make you deal with how a lot you worth one thing,” Click on mentioned. ”And so I feel it is unattainable to say that it did not on some stage spur us on.”
Brantley spent the final two years in Houston after taking part in 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 residence 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 pals and he mentioned he’ll miss taking part in with the middle fielder subsequent season. However Brantley determined that he’d quite 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 wished to return again right here and to sort of end this factor off,” Brantley mentioned. ”We’ve got … unfinished enterprise.”
Brantley, who’s primarily a left fielder, is trying ahead to taking part in protection once more this season after serving because the crew’s designated hitter final yr after 2019 AL Rookie of the 12 months Yordan Alvarez 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 wish 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 isn’t at all times 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 capable of carry again Brantley and believes the 33-year-old can be an necessary veteran presence on a crew that has gotten considerably youthful within the final yr.
”Michael is as useful to this franchise off the sector as he’s on it when it comes to the management that he brings within the clubhouse,” Click on mentioned. ”And when it comes to who he’s as an individual, you possibly can’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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