What To Do With Doctor Smooth?
The rumors gliding around and focusing on Indians’ star outfielder Michael Brantley have been around ever since he first got injured last season. Now with another injury this postseason requiring ankle surgery, the Indians have a tough decision in what they hope to do with the 2x All-Star and Silver Slugger winner.
With only playing in 101 games the past two seasons, Brantley’s health has definitely become a problem within the clubhouse. At the age of 30, Cleveland has Michael under contract through the 2018 season. The Tribe has to decide what is best for both sides. Do they risk keeping him for the last year with a chance of another injury occurring or do they decide to move him for prospects or an established veteran? Brantley has a $12 million club option for the 2018 season.
Brantley did have an amazing first half of the 2017 season, considering he missed all but 11 games the previous 2016 campaign. Batting .304 with 17 doubles and 37 RBI, it seemed as if the Doctor Smooth we all loved was back. Until yet another injury sidelined the outfielder, leading to only 88 at bats after the All-Star break. Manager Terry Francona decided to plug in Brantley at DH during the postseason after Edwin went down with the ankle injury. Man you could tell something still wasn’t right with the Doc, who finished with only 1 hit in 11 at bats.
If it were up to me, I would want to move Brantley next season for young prospects. With Chisenhall, Guyer, and younger talents like Zimmer and Allen, they should be fine with depth. Although a fan-favorite for his tenure here in the Land, I truly think it’s finally times to part ways with Mr. Clutch. We will just have to see what the Front Office decides to do with the man, but do not be surprised if they decide to pick up the option to keep Michael for his final year with the club.