Adrian Gonzalez hits off a tee

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Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports that Adrian Gonzalez has been cleared to begin hitting off a tee and did so this morning. Feeling fine and no need to consult with a doctor as was previously suggested he might. He’s supposed to begin live batting practice soon.  So that’s some good news for a Red Sox Nation that has had nothing but … oh, wait. They’ve basically had nothing but good news since November. Forget I said anything.

Speaking of tees, this weekend I bought my son a regulation tee, a couple of balls and a glove. This on the heels of a recent declaration that he wants to play t-ball this spring.  Then — before I gave them to him — he told me that he’d rather play soccer. The equipment is now sitting in my trunk, for I fear that if I give them to him now I am officially that dad who pushes his kid into stuff he doesn’t want to do.  Of course, if I don’t give them to him, he’s going to go through childhood thinking that soccer is a real sport or something.

Parenting is hard, yo.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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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.