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Report: Cleveland Indians won’t extend qualifying offers to Michael Brantley, others

CLEVELAND — It appears Michael Brantley’s career with the Cleveland Indians could soon be coming to an end.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Indians will not tender a $17.9 million qualifying offer to Michael Brantley by Friday’s deadline.

With that, the Indians won’t receive any draft pick compensation should Brantley opt to sign as a free agent with another team this offseason. However, the possibility still exists Cleveland could re-sign him to a long-term deal, and The Athletic’s Zack Meisel reports there is mutual interest between Brantley and the team.

The 31-year-old Brantley has spent the entirety of his 10-year major league career in Cleveland after being acquired in the 2008 trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers. Over that span, he hit for a career .295 average to go along with 87 home runs and 528 runs batted in.

After injury-plagued seasons in 2016 and 2017, Brantley enjoyed a bounce-back campaign in 2018, making his third career All-Star appearance. In 143 games, the left-handed outfielder hit for a .309 average, .468 slugging percentage and .365 on-base percentage, to go along with 17 home runs and 76 RBIs.

Following the Indians’ season-ending sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series, manager Terry Francona discussed what Brantley has meant to the organization.

“It’s hard because he’s so special,” Francona said. “You can write whatever good stuff you want and put my name next to it, talking about [Brantley]. He’s just what you’re looking for. He’s one of the very best teammates, he’s a hard, diligent worker. He cares about doing the right thing and he looks out for his teammates.”

Additionally, it was reported by multiple outlets that qualifying offers will not be extended to relief pitchers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

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