6. Good for Houston’s outfield situation
Spraining a hamstring, plantar fasciitis, tearing tendons—these are just some of the risks to the legs that baseball players have to endure during training and in games. Outfielders need to be healthy physically to optimize their sprint speed. Catching a ball or being a fraction of a second too slow to get there can mean the difference between making an out or the ball landing in the gap for a hit that changes the outcome of a game.
Since Yordan Alvarez has received arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees in the past, it helps the Astros depth chart to have Brantley ready to play more innings as a defensive outfielder. Inking Brantley to a one-year deal allows both Alvarez and Brantley opportunities to DH and takes days off from the sprinting-intensive nature of the outfield position.
Additionally, Brantley had surgery on his labrum, located above his shoulder, which means his legs for the outfield should be fine—the injury occurred around the elbow. How many teams would love to have Brantley with healthy legs as a defensive outfield option? This provides a great insurance policy if the knees of Yordan Alvarez might give trouble during the upcoming season.