The New York Post reports that the Tigers had two scouts in Tampa Bay to watch James Shields’ start against the Yankees last night.
They probably weren’t the only ones, but if you believe Ken Rosenthal’s report from yesterday, the Rays — while always willing to listen! — are reluctant to trade Shields. They like him, think he’s back on the right track to stay and believe that having him, Price and Hellickson leading the rotation going forward, they’ll always have a chance to contend.
I’d guess that you could bowl them over with a great offer, but the last time the Tigers did that for a starter they gave up John Smoltz.
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.