It’s not a big surprise that Indians free agent outfielder Michael Brantley isn’t coming back to Cleveland, but it’s about to hurt more for Indians fans as to where he’s headed.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted out on Monday evening that Brantley, who called Cleveland home since 2009 when he was just 22 years old, will ink with the Houston Astros, the very team that knocked the Indians out of the postseason this last October.
#Astros closing in on free-agent outfielder Michael Brantley, sources tell The Athletic. Rival executives expect deal to be in two-year, $32M range.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 17, 2018
Brantley is set to cash in after an All-Star season in which he hit .309 with 36 doubles, 2 triples, 17 homers, and 76 RBI for the AL Central Indians.
In 10 seasons with the Tribe, Brantley hit a career average of .295 with 87 homers and 528 RBI.
“It’s been an honor, it’s been an honor to wear that uniform,” Brantley said the day the Indians were eliminated from the postseason in what will be his last game with the Indians, foreshadowing his future.
Brantley’s best year with the Indians was 2014, when he hit .327 with 20 homers, 97 RBIs and 23 steals in 156 games.
The team will continue to try and figure out their outfield without Brantley, who last season played in 134 games in left field.