Earlier in the evening, it was reported that the Cleveland Indians and outfielder Michael Brantley were nearing an agreement on a contract extension, but now, details have emerged on the exact nature of the deal.
Brantley’s deal is done. Four years for $25 million with an $11 million club option. AAV of deal is $6.25 million a year. #Indians.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) February 11, 2014
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Brantley’s new deal is for 4 years and $25 million with an option for a 5th year at $11 million. At first glance, this may seem like a bit an overpayment at more than $6 million per season for a player coming off a 10-home run season, but with market value rising, it could be a very reasonable one for the Indians.
Brantley posted a career-high in home runs with that 10-HR output in 2o13, but his overall output was actually down from 2012 when he posted 2.7 fWAR thanks to a .348 on-base percentage and above-average defense. At 26 years old, Brantley should be reaching his “peak years”, and if Cleveland projects a bit more power to go along with his 15-steal average, they may have locked up a nice regular on the cheap.
The biggest “win” for Cleveland here is cost certainty, as they buy out Brantley’s arbitration years, but with where salaries are headed, it’s nice to lock down a starting-level player for just over $6 million a season in his prime.