Michael Brantley’s Extension Good for Both Sides
On Monday night, Michael Brantley and the Cleveland Indians came to an agreement on a four-year $25-million contract extension with a fifth-year club option worth $11-million. The deal ends any and all possibility of Michael Brantley going to arbitration and also buys out one to two years of free agency. For a team like the Indians that must constantly be aware of their own financial limitations, this deal becomes one of the most team friendly in all of baseball.
The average annual value of the contract comes out to $6.25-million, just slightly less than the expected $7-million per win teams can expect to pay in 2014. For a 26-year-old outfielder set to enter into his prime that has put together back-to-back seasons of 3.3 and 2.7 bWAR, this deal could be viewed as a potential bargain. This is especially true of Brantley continues to improve and progress at the same rate we have seen over the past few seasons.
For Michael Brantley, the main selling point on signing the extension was security. Barring a total team rebuild, he will be in Cleveland and a member of the Indians for the foreseeable future. Knowing that, he doesn’t have to worry about contract negotiations for the next four or even five years, he can simply focus on playing baseball and continue to improve.
Jordan Bastian, beat writer for the Indians for MLB.com weighs in on the extension in the video below. The key takeaways he sees from the deal are in line with what we have been saying since the news broke. Among the points he makes are that the Indians value his consistency and durability, he has shown a prowess throughout his career for excelling in high leverage two out situations, and his flexibility to play all three outfield spots and anywhere in the order make him indispensable.
You can watch the video below. (Refresh page if player fails to load)