An incorrect report stating Michael Brantley had consented to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays had the outfielder fielding farewell texts from his Houston Astros teammates most of Wednesday early morning.
By the afternoon those very same colleagues were sending him notes of congratulations and welcoming him back after he agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros.
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” There were a lot of a lot of mixed feelings, certainly, in a little timeframe,” Brantley said Monday. “But I got a great deal of great texts and I’m thrilled to be back, and a great deal of my colleagues connected to me and they’re thrilled that I’m coming back. So it implies the world to me.”
While Brantley never had a deal in location with Toronto, he admitted he remained in discussions with the group.
” We were close,” he stated. “Obviously we were in talks and there was interest on both sides, but … whatever worked for where I wished to be.”
Houston general manager James Click said the group had been in discussions with Brantley for months, but settlements heated up when the Astros discovered heaven Jays also were pursuing him. The Astros had currently lost George Springer to heaven Jays a day before when he signed a $150 million, six-year contract, and they couldn’t afford to lose another beginning outfielder.
” I do not know if there’s any substitute for the sensation that something might be going away to truly make you concentrate on how much you value something,” Click stated. “And so I believe it’s impossible to state that it didn’t on some level stimulate us on.”
Brantley spent the last two years in Houston after betting Cleveland for his very first 10 MLB seasons. Brantley hit.300 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. He had three home runs and 11 RBIs in 13 playoff games in 2015 as the Astros came a win shy of reaching the World Series for the second straight season.
He earned $5,555,555 in prorated pay from a $15 million salary as part of a $32 million, two-year deal that consisted of a $2 million finalizing benefit.
Brantley is a four-time All-Star and a 2014 Silver Slugger award winner. He has actually a.297 average with 114 homers and 640 RBIs in his career.
Brantley and Springer are close friends and he said he’ll miss playing with the center fielder next season. Brantley decided that he ‘d rather stay in Houston and chase after a title after coming up short in his first 2 seasons with the group.
” Having the run the last two years that we did and having the player relationships that I did, I actually wanted to return here and to kind of finish this thing off,” Brantley said. “We have … incomplete company.”
Brantley, who is mostly a left fielder, is looking forward to playing defense once again this season after functioning as the group’s designated hitter in 2015 after 2019 AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Álvarez had season-ending knee surgery. Brantley played simply 19 of his 46 video games in the outfield last season after beginning 123 of his 148 games in the outfield in his first year with the Astros.
” I like to contribute on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Just being out there on the defense I feel I can do a lot for the group. So it’s not constantly about getting the big hit or hitting, you can do the deal with both sides of the ball.”
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Click is alleviated that he had the ability to revive Brantley and believes the 33- year-old will be an essential veteran presence on a group that has actually gotten substantially younger in the in 2015.
” Michael is as important to this franchise off the field as he is on it in regards to the management that he generates the clubhouse,” Click said. “And in terms of who he is as a person, you can’t put a put a finger on that. Having him back, I believe does a does a real good thing for our lineup. But a lot more, it does real fantastic thing for our clubhouse.”