Michael Brantley has been a member of the Cleveland Indians since 2009. That ends in 2019 as he has reportedly signed with the Houston Astros.
Time to make this Monday feel even more like a Monday.
But Ken Rosenthal decided to break some news that will have some fans upset.
This was more than a rumor, as confirmed by Jeff Passan.
This leads to a lot of questions. Could the Indians not afford this deal? Did the team simply decide to move on? Did Michael Brantley not want to return?
There were some rumblings earlier this offseason that the team essentially told Brantley it would be near impossible to keep him. But then came the salary cuts this past week that would make a two-year, $32 million deal possible. Instead, he is off to join one of the Indians’ main competitors in the American League.
My belief is that the Indians don’t value Brantley as highly after he missed so much time in 2015-2016. He did play a full season last year, but there still could be some long-term concerns.
That is my best guess because this is incredibly frustrating, specifically because of where he is going. But he was a free agent so it’s not like the Indians traded him to Houston.
Some fans may do the dumb thing and call Brantley a traitor. That is just silly. He is going to a contender where he will be paid market value for his services. The Indians had the chance to retain him and did not choose to do so.
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I will always be a fan of Michael Brantley, just not directly when he goes up against the Indians.