Carlos Beltran will bat second for the Cardinals

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Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Bernie Miklasz today that he envisions Carlos Beltran batting second in the Cardinals lineup.  So the presumption is:

1. Furcal
2. Beltran
3. Holliday
4. Berkman
5. Freese
6. Molina

And then whatnot and so forth and the pitcher most likely ninth because Tony La Russa isn’t around to screw around anymore.

Gotta say: not too shabby.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

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.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.