Indians pick up Michael Brantley’s 2018 option

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We’ve posted a lot about option pickups in the past day or two. Most of them have some variation of “no surprise here” in them because they’ve been pretty easy choices for the teams involved. Low money deals for good players for the most part.

This one is a bit less of an easy call: the Indians exercised Michael Brantley‘s $12 million option.

It’s not a given because Brantley has played in just 101 games over the last two seasons and had major ankle surgery last month. When healthy he has hit — he posted a decent line of .299/.357/.444 in 90 games this past season — but at this point he may not even be ready to begin spring training on time, throwing his 2018 value into question.

Still, he’s a clubhouse leader, one of the longest-tenured Indians and, if healthy, could be a solid contributor next year, so the club is taking a chance.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.