Michael Brantley departure may hurt double for the Astros.
Brantley may be in his mid-30s, but the four-time MLB All-Star could be a valuable commodity for whatever team ends up signing him. While he could return to the Astros, one team to keep an eye on for his services are the New York Yankees. ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests Brantley could be a replacement for DJ LeMahieu should he walk in his free agency. Could Brantley be a Pinstriper?
The Yankees could get one but not both AL All-Stars this offseason
The Yankees retaining LeMahieu or acquiring Brantley seem to be mutually exclusive entities. Given that LeMahieu was an AL MVP candidate last season, his market may be slightly more robust than Brantley’s. That is not to say the Yankees do not have deep pockets, but they have a plan in place to fill the void in the lineup if LeMahieu leaves for greener pastures in free agency.
As for the rivalry component here between the Astros and the Yankees, yes, this could matter next season in the American League. Houston and New York will likely be contenders to win their respective divisions in the AL, as well as win multiple postseason series. It would be something if Brantley were to deliver a knockout punch to the Astros as a member of the Bronx Bombers.
Houston may need to prepare for Brantley leaving in his free agency for a team like the Yankees.