• Brian L. Barefield

“Unfinished Business” Astros resign LF Michael Brantley

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

With the departure of former Rockets superstar James Harden and the uncertainty of what is going on with the Texans organization, the Houston Astros provided some much-needed excitement to the Houston sports scene with the announcement of the resigning of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year contract worth $32 million.

“I’m excited to be back, and a lot of my teammates reached out to me and they’re excited that I’m coming back," said Brantley who finished the 2020 season batting .300 in a shortened MLB season due to COVID-19.

Brantley joined Houston after spending his first 10 years with the Cleveland Indians. During his time with the Astros, he has been one of the most consistent hitters throughout Major League Baseball. He has a combined .309 batting average since 2018 which is tops in the American League.

His performance at the plate gets stronger in the postseason as evident during this past season when he helped lead the Astros to the seventh game of the American League Championship Series before losing to the Tampa Bay Rays. During that span Brantley went 18-for-52 (.346) at the plate with three home runs and 11 RBI.

“Having the run the last two years that we did and having the player relationships that I did, I really wanted to come back here and to kind of finish this thing off," said the four-time All-Star. “There’s unfinished business. I’m really glad to be back with the guys, and the relationships I developed the last two years. I look forward to winning a championship.”

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Brantley’s return helps to ease the pain of losing fan favorite George Springer who signed a very lucrative deal worth $150 million with the Toronto Blue Jays. Reports were out that Brantley was headed north of the border to play with his former teammate, but Astros manager James Click was able to sway him back to Houston.

“I don’t know if there’s a substitute for the feeling that something might be going away to really make you focus on how much you value something,” Click said. “I think it’s impossible to say that it didn’t on some level spur us on, but we had been having conversations since even before the offseason started.

“Michael is as valuable to this franchise off the field as he is on it in terms of the leadership that he brings in the clubhouse. And in terms of who he is as a person, you can’t put a put a finger on that. So, having him back, I think does a does a real good thing for our lineup. But even more, it does real great thing for our clubhouse."

With Brantley under contract the Astros have solidified their 40-man roster.

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