Athletics’ outfielder Michael Taylor has an offseason job

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This is pretty neat.  Not as neat as the fact that Richie Hebner used to work as a grave digger in the offseason, but neat in the sense that ballplayers never actually work real jobs anymore, so it’s cool to see one who does.

It’s Michael Taylor of the Oakland A’s, who spent the offseason as an intern for KNBR radio in San Francisco. And, at least based on the video segment from MLB Network on it, it appears as though it was real work that he and the employer took seriously, not just some “let the jock come in and hang out” kind of thing.

Not that he’s doing it to pay the bills. It’s a no-pay gig, and he says that he wants to try to get in the media biz, so this is obviously a stepping stone thing.  But given how many ex-jocks just show up on TV or radio for the simple reason that they’re ex-jocks, it’s nice to see someone taking the time to actually, you know, understand the business.

Not that being a tall, almost annoyingly handsome Stanford grad is gonna hurt.

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.