As expected, the Nationals have decided to stick with Davey Johnson as manager.
General manager Mike Rizzo went through the interview process with other candidates, but various reports pegged Johnson as the man for the job for weeks now and the Nationals simply held off making things official until after the World Series.
Rizzo said in a statement that “it became obvious that the Nationals would be best served” with Johnson, who managed the team to a 40-43 record after taking over at midseason following Jim Riggleman’s sudden exit. At the time Riggleman stepped down the Nationals were 38-37.
Johnson is the oldest manager in baseball at age 69 and took more than a decade off from managing after leaving the Dodgers in 2000, but his contract also includes a team option for 2013.
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.