Rob Neyer takes a road trip in the leadup to the SABR convention every year. On that road trip he and a couple of his friends visit the graves of baseball greats and play a game of catch. It’s pretty cool. One of these years I’m going to arrange my life in such a way that I can join them.
This year, however, Rob and his friends found something a bit sad: Josh Gibson’s gave was somewhat neglected. They cleaned it up and all seems right. But the experience did cause Rob to reflect on an idea he has about what the Hall of Fame might do to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future.
Go read Rob’s story for both his pictures of Gibson’s final resting place and Rob’s wonderful, although, I fear, extremely hard to pull off idea.
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.