Matt Guerrier, who spent 2004-2010 in Minnesota’s bullpen, has returned to the Twins on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Guerrier was one of the most underrated setup men in baseball during his first go-around with the Twins, which earned him a three-year, $12 million deal from the Dodgers as a free agent. In three seasons since then he posted a 4.02 ERA in 123 innings while missing time with multiple injuries.
Minnesota’s bullpen is pretty well-stocked, particularly among right-handers, so the 35-year-old Guerrier has an uphill battle to win a spot even if manager Ron Gardenhire favors him for all the old memories.
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.