Angels release Carlos Pena, who still wants to continue his playing career at age 35

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has the report from Arizona …

Pena had only an outside shot at an Opening Day roster spot and sealed his fate by batting .139/.205/.167 with 14 strikeouts in 39 plate appearances in the Cactus League. The 35-year-old has hit .201/.327/.351 in 249 regular-season games since the start of 2011 and he rates poorly defensively at first base.

Anaheim also cut ties with catcher Yorvit Torrealba and infielder Chad Tracy on Sunday.

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

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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.