Corey Patterson was without a job after not playing in the majors last season, but the 33-year-old outfielder has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mariners.
Patterson never lived up to the hype he received as a prospect and former No. 3 overall pick, but he managed to stick around for more than a decade based mostly on his speed and range defensively. He’s a career .252 hitter with a ghastly .290 on-base percentage and .400 slugging percentage, but has logged 4,500 plate appearances while earning $15 million.
And now he’ll head to extended spring training and then Triple-A, waiting to see if the Mariners need any outfield reinforcements. He spent all of last season at Triple-A for the Brewers and didn’t play very well.
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.