As expected the Giants have decided against adding Melky Cabrera to the roster for the World Series and will stick with the same group they used in the NLDS and NLCS.
Cabrera’s exclusion was all but given considering the team’s comments about the situation for the past several weeks, but there was some speculation that San Francisco might add a third catcher in Eli Whiteside.
Cabrera was eligible to return from his 50-game steroid suspension for the NLCS, but the Giants stuck with Gregor Blanco as their starting left fielder. Blanco is never going to equal Cabrera’s lofty .346 batting average during the regular season, but he has gotten on base at a .364 clip during the playoffs.
Still, it’s hard to think that the Giants wouldn’t be better off with Cabrera on the roster, if only as a bench bat.
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.