No one knew quite what to expect from Brian Wilson when the Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal in late July. He’d missed nearly one-and-a-half seasons since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery and some reports questioned how much his raw stuff had returned.
It turns out, he’s been pretty damn good. Wilson got a call-up to the Dodgers in mid-August and has appeared in 15 games, throwing 11.1 innings with a 0.79 ERA and 10/3 K/BB ratio while holding opponents to a .211 batting average and zero homers. He’s also stranded 10 of 11 inherited runners. And while his velocity hasn’t quite returned to pre-surgery levels Wilson has averaged 92.9 miles per hour with his fastball.
Wilson is still just 31 years old and with free agency around the corner he’s put himself in line for a nice payday and possibly another closing gig next season.
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.