Blue Jays Trade Rumors: Michael Brantley Still Target Post-George Springer Deal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2021

Houston Astros' Michael Brantley (23) celebrates with George Springer (4) after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays may not be done shopping.

After Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Toronto agreed to sign outfielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the American League East team is still attempting to sign free-agent outfielder Michael Brantley.

Rosenthal noted Springer and Brantley are friends who are both represented by Excel Sports Management.

Heyman provided more details:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

George Springer has been selling the Jays and Michael Brantley on working out a deal so his friend and Astros teammate can join him (possibly) north of the border. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned the tandem talk

Brantley played for Cleveland from 2009 through 2018 before suiting up alongside Springer for the Houston Astros in 2019 and 2020.

He is a four-time All-Star who won a Silver Slugger in 2014 on Cleveland when he slashed .327/.385/.506 with 20 home runs and 97 RBI. He was an offensive force even during the shortened 2020 campaign with a .300/.364/.476 slash line to go with five home runs and 22 RBI.

While Brantley turns 34 years old in May, he has shown no signs of slowing down with a batting average in the .300s in each of the last three seasons.

He could also be a veteran leader with 38 playoff games on his resume for a Blue Jays team looking to turn the corner as a contender.

The Blue Jays made the postseason last year for the first time since 2016 but lost in the wild-card round. They are also in a daunting division alongside the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays and will be hard-pressed to keep up without plenty of offensive firepower.

They will have that in spades with Springer joining Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, among others, and Brantley would provide another impressive bat to the group.