Japanese schoolgirl pitcher Eri Yoshida* — fresh off her tutoring session with The Knuckle Knuckle King — has signed with the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League.
Yoshida will be the first woman to play professional baseball in the U.S. since Ila Borders played in the Northern League and Western Baseball League in the late 90s. She will be the first professional baseball player to throw like a girl since Johnny Damon hit the showers after yesterday’s Tigers-Royals game.
*We are obligated to refer to Yoshida as “Japanese schoolgirl” because there are a lot of people who Google that term for some reason. And if you’re worried that such search engine hi-jinks are going to bring in too many perverts to this site, please know, approximately 83% of hardcore baseball fans already fall into the coveted 18-34 year-old pervert demographic.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.