The curtain has closed on the career of Michael Brantley. The 15-year veteran decided to hang up his spikes on Friday after announcing his retirement. The news was reported earlier today by Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Brantley agreed to a one-year contract with the Houston Astros in December of last year despite the fact that he was still recovering from shoulder surgery that robbed the outfielder of being a part of the team's World Championship run in 2022.
But Brantley never really made it all the way back to the bigs in 2023. The slugger was sent on a rehab assignment in April, but by mid-June he was placed on the 60-day IL following a setback in the recovery process. Brantley appeared in just 15 games for the Astros last season and played sparingly in the postseason.
Astros slugger Michael Brantley announces retirement
Michael Brantley began his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, but was later traded to the Cleveland Guardians where he starred for 10 years. Brantley went to three All-Star Games during his time in Cleveland and led the league in doubles during the 2015 season.
Brantley signed a free agent deal with the Houston Astros in 2019. His first season in Houston was wildly successful, but it ended on a bitter note as he was the final out in Game 7 of the World Series that year.
Brantley's career appears to be somewhat linked to heartbreak. The outfielder was injured in 2016 when Cleveland surrendered a 3-1 series lead to the Chicago Cubs in the Fall Classic. And he was sidelined with injury once again in 2022 when Houston took home the Commissioner's Trophy.
However, even though Brantley was unable to contribute on the field during the 2022 World Series, he still celebrated the victory with his teammates. The Houston Chronicle quoted Brantley as saying, "I’m just glad to be a part of it and celebrate with them tonight."
Brantley is retiring as a five-time All-Star, Silver Slugger Award-winner, and a World Champion. Over his 15-year career, Brantley hit .298/.355/.439 with 129 home runs and 720 RBI.