Indians, Michael Brantley Agree to Four Year Contract Extension


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According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer,  Michael Brantley gave up his arbitration eligible status Monday to commit himself to the Cleveland Indians for the next four years. It must be pretty good being a member of the Cleveland Indians these days, getting a long-term and lucrative deal like this. The two had been in arbitration talks and this deal brings those to an end before the arbitration hearing that was scheduled for February 17th.

The contract is huge for Brantley. Prior to this contract Brantley had asked the Indians for $3.8 million while the club was offering him$2.7 million. Now, he stands to make up to $36 million. It is a guaranteed $6.25 million a year for the first four years and there is a club option for 2018 worth another $11 million if it is picked up.
Brantley has been in MLB for five years totaling three full years of service and this was his first time being eligible for arbitration.  He only made $526,900 in 2013.  At just 24 years old this gives Brantley stability for a good portion of his career.
The Indians seemed to have made the right decision in locking down Brantley, not unlike the Atlanta Braves locking down young stars like Freddie Freeman and Jason Heywood.

Freddie Freeman, Getty Images

Brantley is a healthy young kid who has only once, in five years, been on the disabled list. He has a career batting average of .277 with 26 career home runs and 212 career RBI. He stole 17 bases last season and his speed also helped him on defense as he split time between left and center field. His career fielding percentage is .994. In his five years with Cleveland he has only recorded seven errors and 21 outfield assists. He played in 151 out of 162 games in 2013 hitting .284 with 10 home runs, 73 RBI and .728 OPS.

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