Indians sign outfielder Michael Brantley to four-year deal

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – The Cleveland Indians have signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a four-year deal worth $25 million, including a club option for 2018 valued at $11 million.

According to media reports, Brantley’s contract includes a signing bonus of $3.5 million that will be spread out over the life of the contract, which covers all three years of his arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency.

The salary breakdown will be $1.5 million in 2014, $5 million in 2015, $6.5 million in 2016 and $7.5 million in 2017. The club option for 2018 includes a $1 million buyout.

Brantley served as the Tribe’s starting left fielder last season, moving out of center after the Indians signed Michael Bourn for that role.

While bouncing up and down manager Terry Francona’s lineup, he posted a .284/.332/.396 slash line to go along with 10 homers, 26 doubles, three triples, 73 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and 66 runs in 151 games.

Defensively, Brantley contributed 11 outfield assists and made no errors last season, extending his franchise-record outfield errorless streak to 245 games. During the 2012 season, Brantley was the Indians’ starting center fielder, and he is currently the backup option behind Bourn.

“I’m happy to be a part of the Cleveland Indians right now,” Brantley said during the team’s Tribe Fest event last month. “I’m excited. We have a great group of guys in this locker room, and I’m just excited to be a part of it and put on this uniform.”

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training for the Tribe Tuesday, but Cleveland’s position players are not required to be in Arizona until Saturday. Following physicals for position players on Sunday, the Indians will hold their first full-squad workout next Monday.

The Indians acquired Brantley as a player to be named in the 2008 trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers. In parts of five Major League seasons with the Indians, Brantley has hit .277 with 26 home runs, 140 extra-base hits, 212 RBIs and 240 runs scored in 514 games.

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