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Indians Free Agent OF Michael Brantley Agrees to Ink with American League Rival

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.

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.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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