One of MLB’s forgotten star players announced that he’ll make his return in 2023 for a 15th season.

Five time All-Star and 2014 Silver Slugger Award recipient Michael Brantley will turn 36 early next summer. Despite being one of the older players in the league, he still is producing at a high level. In the 64 games that he suited up for the ‘Stros, he hit .288, with 5 home runs and 26 RBI. He had an on-base percentage of .370, and a slugging percentage of .416.

While those numbers are very impressive, Brantley’s been out since June 26th with a shoulder injury and will be a free agent at the conclusion of the year. He had a lingering knee injury that put him on the IL in 2021 for 40 games, and now a for a second straight season, he’s dealing with a significant injury. 


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“Of course, this is what I love. I respect this game so much, and I cherish this game so much…baseball is my life” Brantley said on Wednesday when asked if playing another MLB season is something that he plans on doing. The question now is, what does the future hold for the outfielder?

It is very possible that Brantley will return to the Astros. He signed a two-year $32 million contract in December of 2018 after spending his first 10 seasons with Cleveland.  He re-signed with them on another two-year, $32 million contract. Who says a third 2-year, $32 million contract isn’t on the horizon for the left-handed slugger?

“I love my teammates, I love this organization…from day one when I walked in this door I was welcomed with open arms,” said Brantley. He clearly would love to stay in Houston, and who could blame him? The Astros just clinched their sixth straight division title, they have gone to the World Series three of the last five seasons and are favored once again to recapture the AL pennant.

“We feel whole now that Brantley’s back,” manager Dusty Baker said when it was announced that Brantley was back in the dugout supporting their team as they begin to make their playoff push. “We missed him.”



The feeling between Brantley and the clubhouse is clearly mutual, so it would not be surprising to see him back in Houston for a fifth season. However, with the emergence of Yordan Alvarez this season, and the team’s excellent track record of developing talent within their system, they could let the 35 year-old find a new home.

If it isn’t Houston, teams may be a little shy to hand Brantley a whole lot of cash. He is in his mid-30s, and hasn’t been healthy the past couple of seasons. But as we have seen recently, 35 is the new 25, and Brantley has been putting up numbers these past couple of campaigns that would be expected of a much younger star player. So, if he is able to shake off the injury bug, there is no reason to believe that he can’t still be a very important piece to whichever team signs him to a deal. 

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