Last week, Michael Brantley announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. A valued member of both the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians, Brantley's career is marked by performance and professionalism.
While Brantley's Astros' career may not have ended exactly how he wanted it, perhaps his time with Houston hasn't come to end after all. According to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, Astros' owner Jim Crane foresees a future role for Brantley within the organization.
Crane emphasized Brantley's leadership and clubhouse presence as key factors that could see the former slugger continue to help the Astros franchise in some capacity moving forward. Crane mentioned Brantley's Florida residence, and the possibility of him taking on coaching duties during spring training.
Michael Brantley could be returning to the Astros after all
Brantley was raised along the Treasure Coast in Florida and went to high school in Fort Pierce, which is just north of The Palm Beaches Ballpark where Houston holds its spring training workouts. It's also home to the Astros' development complex.
Whether Brantley would act as an on-field instructor, help to lead a team meeting, or just be an ear for any number of players within the Astros organization, Crane made it sound as though he's willing to take whatever the former All-Star has to offer.
Brantley's final season in Houston didn't go as planned. After missing out on the 2022 MLB Postseason and not participating in the World Series, Brantley was hopeful to return to the field in 2023 and help the Astros repeat as World Champions.
Unfortunately, injuries got the better of him and Brantley appeared in just a handful of games last season. Rather than attempt to run it back with a new manager at the helm, Brantley chose to hang up his cleats.
Brantley's 15-year run probably isn't Hall of Fame worthy, but he still had a fantastic career. During his 10 years in Cleveland and five years in Houston, Brantley compiled a career-batting average of .298, 348 doubles, 129 home runs, and 720 RBI. Brantley was a five-time All-Star, including two-trips to the Midsummer Classic with the Astros and was part of Houston's World Championship run in 2022.