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Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians close to multi-year deal

Last month Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said that he was expecting to be forced into arbitration hearings by at least one eligible player. One such player of concern was outfielder Michael Brantley.

Tonight Paul Hoynes is reporting that the Indians and Brantley are closing in on a multi-year deal.

Brantley, age 26, played 151 games for Cleveland last season. In 556 at-bats he batted a solid .284/.332/.396 with 17 stolen bases. He served primarily as the team’s left fielder in 2013 but has also played center field and can likely fill in at any of the three outfield spots if needed.

By signing Brantley to this deal, the Indians are buying out his final two arbitration-eligible seasons. For a solid, athletic outfielder who only stands to get better the more that he develops some power, Brantley is a valuable player and the Indians are wise to get this deal done.

As for their work with arbitration eligible players, Antonetti and the front office still have a huge task looming with ace pitcher Justin Masterson. The deal with Brantley might be more understated, but this is a quality move.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Michael Brantley

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