Cleveland has agreed to a minor-league contract with 37-year-old reliever Scott Atchison, who spent last season with the Mets.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Atchison will get an invitation to spring training after throwing 45 innings with a 4.37 ERA and 28/12 K/BB ratio last year.
He hasn’t been very durable and at 37 that’s unlikely to change, but Atchison has a combined 3.47 ERA in 187 innings since 2010 and obviously the price is right.
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.