Sign Michael Brantley, 4 years $45 million
Boom. You want to talk about insane value, look at Michael Brantley. Consider that Bryce Harper got $480 million in our simulation and that we were the only team to bid on Brantley. THE ONLY ONE. I don’t know what these other yahoos were thinking, because Michael Brantley is a stud.
In 2018, Brantley slashed .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 12 steals, 36 doubles, and a 124 wRC+ in 143 games. Yes, Brantley, who is entering his age-32 season, has a history of injuries. But when he plays, he is one of the better players in all of baseball.
Brantley is also mediocre at best in LF. So I guess I can understand why he’s not a sexy player, but to let him go $11.25 million AAV is just insane. We had some concerns about what to do in LF after trading Ben Gamel and talked about various trade possibilities until we realized that the market on both Brantley and A.J. Pollock were basically non-existent.
In the end, we “settled” on Brantley over Pollock simply because he was a lefty, who brought better balance to our lineup. Pollock was eventually signed to a 3-year, $48 million contract which makes Brantley the better value over time.
Brantley slots into the top half of our lineup perfectly, and could easily hit leadoff, second, or third without any hesitation on Scott Servais‘ mind. Brantley was just the best fit for us in LF, and since we had cleared some significant payroll earlier, we had some money to splurge.
However, we couldn’t be done yet. After all, we still needed a catcher.