Blue Jays, Michael Brantley agree to three-year contract, per report

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The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder/designated hitter Michael Brantley on a three-year contract, according to Hazel Mae. Brantley is the second former member of the Houston Astros to head north of the border this week. The move comes hours after George Springer signed a six-year deal with the Blue Jays worth $150 million on Tuesday evening. 

Brantley, who will turn 34 in May, entered the winter ranked by CBS Sports as the eighth best free agent available this winter. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

If Brantley had recorded one more hit in 2017 — literally one more — he would have entered next spring as the only player to bat .300 or better in four consecutive seasons. Oh well. The warp and the woof of Brantley’s game is that he’s a consistent, professional hitter. He’ll provide a good average, a healthy clip of walks, and 50-plus extra-base hits. Brantley was primarily used as a DH last season for the first time in his career; it probably won’t be the last time. A team interested in maximizing his overall value should also consider parking him against lefties. For reasons unknown, he feels much older than he is: he’ll turn 34 in the middle of next May.

Brantley is expected to serve as Toronto’s most-days designated hitter. Over the last three seasons, he’s batted .309/.368/.484 (125 OPS+) with 44 home runs and 17 stolen bases (on 22 tries).

Brantley and Springer are the two most notable additions the Blue Jays have made this winter. Toronto has also retained starter Robbie Ray and inked relievers Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood.

The Blue Jays finished the 2020 season with a 32-28 record, good enough to qualify for the expanded postseason — that despite not being allowed to play their games in their usual host city because of COVID-19 concerns, and instead having to take up residency in Buffalo, New York.


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