This year’s Cleveland Indians are hoping to turn last season’s run to the postseason into another few years of competitive baseball. Cleveland made it crystal clear that this ballclub believes that outfielder Michael Brantley is a key player in making that happen.
It has been confirmed that the Indians have reached an agreement with Brantley on a 4 year, $25 million deal. It also includes an $11 million option for 2018.
“I’m happy to be a part of the Cleveland Indians right now,” Brantley said during Tribe Fest last month. “I’m excited. We have a great group of guys in this locker room, and I’m just excited to be a part of it and put on this uniform.”
The contract covers all three years of Brantley’s arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency. If exercised, the option for 2018 will keep the left fielder off the open market two years beyond his original eligibility.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training for the Tribe Today, but Cleveland’s position players are not required to be in Arizona until Saturday.
There have been multiple reports that Brantley’s contact includes a signing bonus of $3.5 million.
Brantley was one of Cleveland’s top hitters in clutch situations in 2013, hitting .305 with two outs, .375 with runners in scoring position and .364 with two outs and RISP. On the other side of the ball, Brantley contributed 11 outfield assists and made no errors last season.
The Indians acquired Brantley as a player to be named in the 2008 trade that sent pitcher CC Sabathia to the Brewers in what looked like a terrible trade at the time. Signing Brantley to a multiyear contract falls in line with the Indians trend of locking up young core players. The Indians signed catcher Carlos Santana, to a 5 year, $21 million deal in April of 2012. Cleveland also signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 year extension in the 2012 season as well.