Houston Astros News: Three things Michael Brantley adds to the team

Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros target JT Realmuto
JT Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The stage is set for more offseason moves

Free agency dominoes have begun to fall across the league and finally, the first domino for the Houston Astros fell with the signing of Brantley. It was long awaited but was well worth it as he is an ideal addition to this team in the outfield and in the lineup.

Now, there are plenty of dominoes that could fall as a result of signing Brantley as it opens a lot of doors and allows the team to focus efforts elsewhere. The biggest thing in this realm is how the team is going to move forward with Kyle Tucker. Tucker was expected to come in and compete for the left field job but that is now filled by Brantley.

So, this signing could finally give the team the courage and extra boost to acquire J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins. They have long held a high asking price for the star catcher and this makes a coveted piece in Tucker more expendable. However, this isn’t the only implication for Tucker.

The signing of Brantley gives the Astros two aging left-handed corner outfielders with Josh Reddick being the other one. The team could look to offload Reddick and his two remaining years to help keep Tucker in the fold for the present and future. Reddick will be hard to get rid of but it would open up some additional finances.

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Additionally, the Astros can now focus on solving other positional holes on this team that is nearly flawless. Signing Nelson Cruz appears to be something that could feasibly happen soon. It would be a terrific addition to plug the black hole the team has sported at the DH position. Cruz could come for right at the Brantley price or maybe even slightly cheaper.

Beyond that, the team could also turn to the pitching market to find somebody to be a solid third or fourth behind Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole to go with Collin McHugh in the middle of the order. Regardless of what’s next, signing Brantley allows the team to near its lens of focus and have more dominoes fall.

But, before we wrap up, let’s imagine the best possible lineup for the Houston Astros. Say that this deal makes Tucker expendable and he is swapped for Realmuto. Then, the team inks a slugger in Cruz to take the DH spot. Suddenly, your Astros lineup goes as such: Springer, Bregman, Altuve, Brantley, Correa, Cruz, Realmuto, Gurriel, Reddick. Please, find a hole in this lineup that is nearly full of All-Stars top to bottom.

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Brantley is an excellent addition to this team and a solid start to the offseason. He slashed .309/.364/.486 to go with 17 homers, 76 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases in his first full season since 2015. I, for one, can’t wait to see him in a Houston Astros uniform, WELCOME TO THE SQUAD.