According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Blue Jays are interested in the services of outfielder Michael Brantley who is not only a close friend of Springer but is also represented by the same agency.
Adding further speculation to the rumour mill is the fact that both Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have a past relationship with Brantley from their respective days with the Cleveland Indians. The 33-year old spent a decade with the Tribe from 2009 through to 2018 so all parties involved are very familiar with one another. Brantley was part of the package the Milwaukee Brewers shipped to Cleveland in exchange for CC Sabathia in 2008.
Brantley earned $16 million last season in his final season with the Astros before hitting the open market. The veteran outfielder is still very productive offensively hitting .300/.364/.476 with 20 extra base hits including five homers in 46 games last season. In 2019, the left-hander hit .311/.372/.503 with 22 round trippers and a 4.8 WAR in 148 games with Houston.
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The signing of Brantley would definitely create a logjam in the outfield with the likes of Springer, Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all vying for playing time. The brain trust could also look to flip an outfielder for starting pitching in the event a deal presents itself.
Although the Blue Jays could also utilize Brantley as the designated hitter and play the percentages on the days they are facing southpaws as he hit just .231 lefties last season but does sports a respectable .275 line for his career.
Even at 33 years of age, Brantley is still productive offensively and always a tough out. He would definitely provide some veteran leadership and combined with Springer have over 100 postseason games under their belt. (Brantley 38/ Springer 63)
The Blue Jays put their money where their mouth is with the Springer signing so don’t be surprised if Brantley is the next domino to fall. This offseason just got really interesting.