Blue Jays: Should Michael Brantley be an offseason target?
Should the Toronto Blue Jays target free-agent outfielder Michael Brantley this offseason?
Michael Brantley is a professional hitter who oozes leadership qualities on and off the field, so is he someone the Blue Jays could have on their offseason radar? The 33-year old outfielder has spent the past two seasons with the Houston Astros but is poised to become a free agent at seasons end.
Brantley also spent a decade with the Cleveland Indians so Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro are very familiar with him from their time with the tribe. The southpaw earned $16 million in 2020 while hitting .300/.364/.476 with 51 hits, five homers, and a 1.5 WAR over 48 games. In 2019, he swatted 22 home runs while batting .311 with a 4.8 WAR in 148 games.
There is no questioning that Brantley can still play and could be a worthy expenditure on a 2-year pact. He also brings 1245 games of MLB experience and has a plethora of postseason experience on his resume. Brantley could be a valuable clubhouse presence for this young Blue Jays young core as they learn how to win at the major league ranks.
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Defensively, Brantley is primarily a left-fielder at this point in his career, however, he has played all three outfield positions at one point or another. There is not much available on the free-agent market in terms of centerfielders although Brantley’s teammate George Springer will also hit the open market this offseason.
Springer will be the crown jewel of the available free-agent class and would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Blue Jays. However, it is going to take a hefty multi-year deal presumably around the five or six-year mark to land the 31-year old Springer. The outfielder earned $21 million this past season and definitely won’t be taking a pay cut.
If they are not serious contenders for the Springer sweepstakes then the brain trust should focus their attention on Brantley, he definitely can help this team win on multiple levels both on and off the field.
What are your thoughts on a potential Brantley signing, chime in on the comment section below?