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Indians pick up Michael Brantley’s 2018 option

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We’ve posted a lot about option pickups in the past day or two. Most of them have some variation of “no surprise here” in them because they’ve been pretty easy choices for the teams involved. Low money deals for good players for the most part.

This one is a bit less of an easy call: the Indians exercised Michael Brantley‘s $12 million option.

It’s not a given because Brantley has played in just 101 games over the last two seasons and had major ankle surgery last month. When healthy he has hit — he posted a decent line of .299/.357/.444 in 90 games this past season — but at this point he may not even be ready to begin spring training on time, throwing his 2018 value into question.

Still, he’s a clubhouse leader, one of the longest-tenured Indians and, if healthy, could be a solid contributor next year, so the club is taking a chance.

Colby Rasmus signs a minor league deal with the Orioles

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Mark Feinsand of reports that Colby Rasmus has agreed to a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.

Rasmus, 31, played only 37 games with the Rays last year. The reason: the previous offseason he underwent surgery to repair his left hip labrum and his core muscle, and the hip continued to bother him throughout spring training. He began the season on the disabled list and made his debut on May 2, hitting .281/.318/.579 in 129 plate appearances before going back on the DL June 23. He’d never return, “stepping away” from the game in the words of the club, which placed him on the restricted list for the remainder of the season.