For those of you who care deeply about the announcers of the national games, ESPN has announced their Monday night and Wednesday night baseball teams: Sean McDonough, Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe will handle Mondays and Dave O’Brien and Nomar Garciaparra will do Wednesdays.
The good news here is McDonough, who I like an awful lot. And while I’m generally opposed to three-man booths, any move that limits the amount of space Rick Sutcliffe feels he needs to fill is welcome.
O’Brien is pretty good himself. For the life of me I can’t remember Garciaparra’s commentary at all last year, though apparently he sat in on a few games with the O’Brien-Sutcliffe team. I guess the fact that I don’t remember him bodes well. If he was truly memorable, he probably wasn’t doing his job of enhancing, as opposed to disrupting the natural flow of a baseball game.
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.