Houston Astros Rumors: Michael Brantley would table an important issue

Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros are reportedly interested in the services of Michael Brantley, who’s a free agent. He will table an important issue if signed. What?

The Houston Astros are immersing themselves in a few rumors as the Winter Meetings progress in Las Vegas.  Did I expect for the team to be a bit more active in the rumors?  Absolutely but usually the deals that they land aren’t for the blue-chip, big names but for under-the-radar guys that can get the job done.

I’d expect the Houston Astros to at least announce one pact that has been made with a player to help this team out and then the rest of the team’s damage will be done by next month after the dust settles from these meetings.  We’ll certainly have to stay apprised of the situation but I think that’s how things are going to go down.

But here’s the latest…

According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Houston Astros do have interest in outfielder Michael Brantley:

It’s not surprising that this latest rumor is coming out.  Brantley would provide some immense versatility to the lineup being a left-handed batter and he’d be a powerful weapon in ensuring that he’s going to do his part in getting on-base to help the Houston Astros rack up the runs in 2019.

The most important aspect that he’s a left-fielder, the same position that No. 1 Houston Astros prospect — per MLB Pipeline — Kyle Tucker plays.  If the Houston Astros were able to land Brantley, there would be stability at a position that remains highly uncertain of who’s going to man it in 2018.

The Houston Astros seem undecided as to when to make Tucker an everyday player at left field

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because of his underwhelming numbers in the pros thus far.  His .141/.236/.203 slash line for 2018 through 236 plate appearances is hardly worthy of him being able to take on the role full-time and it’s clearly obvious that he needs to cook in the oven a bit longer.

I certainly have high hopes for Tucker but that’s a far cry from the .332/.400/.590 that he hit with the Fresno Grizzlies last season.  We do have to take that slash line with a grain of salt because of not only the competition but the climate that these guys partake in with each game, allowing for those numbers to inflate a bit.

With the Houston Astros moving their Triple-A operations closer to home at Round Rock for the upcoming season, I’m sure those notions will be put to rest.

But here’s the bottom line — signing Brantley will give the Houston Astros flexibility and a steady hand.  That way, they have more time to allow Tucker to develop or to package him up in trade if they feel he won’t necessarily be part of the team’s long-term plans.

Tucker shouldn’t be included in any deal but it certainly has to be right one.  For example, I’d package Tucker in a deal for J.T. Realmuto in a heartbeat if that’s what it will take.  That’s the premise because Tucker’s value still remains high and his potential to succeed still remains highly-likely.

Brantley’s .309/.364/.468 hitting from this past season would be a welcomed addition to this team and his .813 OPS when the game is tied demonstrates his ability to come through in the clutch when the game is on the line.  He’s slightly an above-average defender, netting a 0.5 UZR for 2018.

I’d be nice if the Houston Astros can sign Brantley, 31, to a three-year deal worth $40 million or  so.  They have the cash to do itastros and team owner Jim Crane has given his blessing to open up the coffers if it’s for the right person.

Next. How the Astros' latest decision opens the gates for Bryce Harper. dark

I honestly think Brantley and he’d solve an important problem and table another for now.

Let’s keep our eyes peeled!