It appears that four-time All-Star outfielder and designated hitter Michael Brantley won't be following George Springer to the Toronto Blue Jays as thought earlier on Wednesday.
ESPN is reporting that Brantley is on track to return to the Houston Astros on a two-year agreement worth $32 million. In early December, it was rumored that Brantley would earn roughly $17 million per season from his latest contract. The veteran, who turns 34 years old in May, was linked with the New York Yankees at that time, but Brantley joining the Bronx Bombers became less likely after reports surfaced that the Yankees were re-signing 2020 Most Valuable Player candidate DJ LeMahieu.
Houston shortstop Carlos Correa appeared to react to the news via Twitter:
Brantley made All-Star squads every season from 2017 through 2019 but saw his numbers dip slightly during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Across 46 regular-season games with the Astros, he hit .300 with five home runs, 22 RBI, and a .476 slugging percentage with an .840 OPS.
Toronto reportedly agreed to a six-year, $150 million deal with Springer on Tuesday and was viewed as a favorite to land Brantley as recently as Wednesday morning. Unlike Springer, however, Brantley will continue calling Houston his baseball home for at least the next two years.