Ryan Cook is finally throwing again after shoulder problems

2 Comments

Out since mid-February with a shoulder injury, A’s right-hander Ryan Cook threw 21 pitches in a simulated game against teammates today and said afterward that he felt good.

In fact, Cook felt so good that he told John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News he’s game-ready and still holding out a slim hope of avoiding beginning the season on the disabled list.

Oakland has spent a ton of money and resources on building an excellent, deep bullpen, so the A’s can deal with not having Cook for a while, but he’s a huge part of their plans after appearing in 71 games during each of the past two seasons with a combined 2.54 ERA and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

Jason Miller/Getty Images
8 Comments

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.