Houston finally comes through with a big offseason move
Astros land outfielder Michael Brantley to two-year deal
While many Astros fans wait for the acquisition of a star catcher or starting pitcher, the Astros instead made their first big splash of the 2018-19 offseason by signing free agent outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year deal.
Brantley entered free agency at the end of the 2018 season, ending his tenure with the Cleveland Indians where he has spent his entire major league career to this point, dating back to his debut in 2009. Brantley is a three-time all-star, making the American League All-Star roster in 2014, 2017, and 2018, and sits with a career .295 batting average. He was also awarded a silver slugger award in 2014, a year he also finished third in AL MVP voting.
Brantley made a nice comeback in 2018, having one of his best seasons after two injury-shortened campaigns in 2016 and 2017. Brantley finished 2018 with an AL fifth-best average at .309 and drove in 76 runs. He has the upside of bringing a lot of consistency to a spot in the lineup, helping an already potent offense convert even more runs.
With most of his play in left field, it's unclear what this signing could mean for the future of Josh Reddick, who is allegedly on the trading block, but in any case it was a good free agent pickup for Houston and at the worst provides some depth in the outfield, which was sorely needed.