Former catcher Brian Schneider takes managerial position with Class-A Jupiter

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Former catcher Brian Schneider has been named the manager of the Class-A Jupiter Hammerheads, an affiliate of the Miami Marlins, reports Marlins Country Radio (original credit to Drew Jenkins). Schneider retired after the 2012 season, ending a 13-year career in which he played for the Expos/Nationals, Mets, and Phillies.

Andy Haines managed the Hammerheads last season, leading the team to the 2012 Florida State League Championship Series, which they lost to the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

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.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.