In his return to the big leagues, Vance Worley throws seven shutout innings

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Pirates starter Vance Worley blanked the Marlins over seven innings on Sunday afternoon, his first start in the major leagues since May 22 last season, when he was a member of the Twins. Worley allowed only five hits while issuing no walks and striking out five.

The Twins had acquired Worley and Trevor May from the Phillies for Ben Revere, even knowing that Worley was on his way back from surgery on his right elbow. Worley was the Twins’ 2013 Opening Day starter, but mustered a 7.21 ERA over ten starts before landing on the DL. The Pirates purchased him from the Twins towards the end of spring training this past March. In seven starts with Triple-A Indianapolis, he posted a 4.30 ERA with a 43/4 K/BB ratio in 46 innings.

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.