From Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger:
The holding pattern with Derek Jeter, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi phrased it, entered its third day on Tuesday, without a resolution in sight. Once again, Jeter did not engage in pre-game drills due to his cranky left ankle. Once again, team officials dismissed the suggestion he could be shut down for the season’s final three weeks.
Jeter hasn’t appeared in a game for the Yankees since Saturday afternoon due to what is being described as soreness in his surgically-repaired left ankle and manager Joe Girardi acknowledged to reporters on Tuesday evening that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the veteran shortstop.
“It’s just hard,” Girardi said Tuesday. “Because we want him to feel good about going out there and not having some pain, and being able to move the way we need him to move, and the way he wants to move. But we just don’t feel like he’s at that point. … My hope is we’re going to get him back. But I don’t know for sure.”
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.