According to a tweet from Jon Heyman, former Cleveland Indians’ outfielder and current free agent Michael Brantley has left The Legacy Agency and signed with Excel Sports Management.
Brantley enters free agency after the Indians neglected to make a qualifying offer. The 10-year vet and three-time All-Star has spent his entire Major League career with the Tribe and regained his form in 2018 after an injury-riddled couple of seasons. A career .295/.351/.350 hitter, Brantley finished this past season with a .309/.364/.468 slash with 17 home runs, 12 steals and 76 RBI. In his 10-year career, he has never struck out more than 76 times in a season.
While his on-field performance has been fairly consistent throughout his career, the question marks surrounding his next contract are about his ability to stay on the field. In the Indians’ 2016 run to the World Series, Brantley only appeared in 11 games. The following season, in which the Tribe won an AL-record 22 games, Brantley appeared in 90 games including being forced into action in the playoffs due to Edwin Encarnacion’s injury.
A fan-favorite in Cleveland, “Dr. Smooth” has been named the 10th-best free agent on the market, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Many analysts predict a three-year, $45 million contract for the 31-year old corner outfielder.