We’ve already talked about the potential return of Michael Brantley once this offseason, but now that there is a bit more money on the table to use it seems like more of a possibility now than just a few weeks ago.
Brantley has spent the last two seasons in Houston and while they did result in an All-Star appearance during the 2019 season, he is still without a ring. That could end up being the biggest barrier between the Cleveland Indians and Brantley. If he wants to contend for a championship, Cleveland might not be his ideal destination in 2021.
However, the financial implications from the 2020 season could actually help the Indians here. Despite being 33-years old, Brantley still has a lot of pop left in his bat and is still a strong fielder, making him an intriguing prospect. The downside is he might be outpriced this offseason.
If Brantley wants a bigger deal next year than Cleveland might be his best opportunity for a one-year deal. He would be one of the more known players on the roster and could easily standout from the crowd in Cleveland. He’s familiar with the coaches and city and could use it as a trampoline to propel him into the final leg of his career.
He would probably have to take a pay cut, but if he performs at a high level he could easily make that money back next year on a bigger deal.