Stephen Drew expected to rejoin Diamondbacks next Wednesday

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Stephen Drew hasn’t played in a major league game since undergoing right ankle surgery 11 months ago, but he’s finally close to rejoining the Diamondbacks’ lineup.

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said on Arizona Sports Radio 620 earlier today that the team is hopeful that Drew will be activated from the disabled list next Wednesday.

Drew began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno earlier this month and is hitting .250 (8-for-32) with two homers, five RBI and an .865 OPS over eight games. The 29-year-old shortstop was eased into game action initially, but he recently began playing in back-to-back games. He is scheduled to leave the team for a couple of days following a death in the family, but Towers said he should join Double-A Mobile on Sunday to resume his rehab assignment.

“Probably Sunday/Monday hopefully Mobile for two days, Tuesday recovery day, and hopefully Wednesday he’s activated in Atlanta,” Towers said.

Drew is a .270/.330/.442 hitter over his first six seasons in the majors. He’ll be a welcome addition to the lineup, although Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson recently suggested that he expects to give him regular rest upon his return.

There’s a pretty good chance that this will be Drew’s final season with Arizona, as neither side appears likely to exercise his $10 million option for 2013 and Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick recently expressed frustration about his lengthy rehab process.

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.