Astros: Brantley may be smartest offseason move this year

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 22: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros receives a high five from Carlos Correa #1 after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 22: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros receives a high five from Carlos Correa #1 after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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When the Astros signed Michael Brantley, it didn’t get all the hype that other offseason moves got. But it may be one of the best moves of the year.

All the talk in the offseason seemed to be about where players like Bryce Harper and J. T. Realmuto would end up signing and for how much. Meanwhile, the Astros signed free agent outfielder Michael Brantley with little fanfare. But so far, it’s looking to be one of the best signings of 2019.

Most media outlets like MLB Trade Rumors and Fancred were all predicting Brantley to get a three-year deal worth around $43 million. He ended up signing a two-year $32 million dollar contract with the Astros last December.

So Houston ends up with a shorter and cheaper contract, allowing them to gauge how his health holds up and what type of performance they get out of him. The 31-year-old outfielder’s durability has been an issue in recent years, playing in only 101 games in all of 2016 and 2017. If it turns out well, and so-far-so-good, they can always offer an extension down the road.

Brantley has been on a tear as of late and kept that alive last night with two singles against former teammate Trevor Bauer. He currently has an 11 game hitting streak and has reached base in 17 straight games.

He started out on fire going 2-4 in the first game of the season with a home run, and followed that up the next night with a second 2-4 night, including a double. But after that, he went on a slump getting only one hit in the next six games. Brantley’s slash line after the first eight games as an Astro was an anemic .179/.233/.321.

He has reached base every game since, raising his slash line to .323/.377/.531. Brantley is now leading the team with 31 hits and three stolen bases. He is one of three players that’s played in all 25 games and has 5 home runs, 18 RBIs and 14 runs to show for it.

With Brantley on the roster, the Astros have more stability in left field than they’ve had in recent years. If he continues to be a force to be reckoned with behind the plate and stays healthy in the process, that under-the-radar signing last December may turn out to be a real coup.

Next. Three things from the Astros’ 2-1 loss to the Indians. dark

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