An erroneous report saying Michael Brantley had agreed to a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays had the outfielder fielding goodbye texts from his Houston Astros teammates most of Wednesday morning.
By the afternoon those same teammates were sending him notes of congratulations and welcoming him back after he agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Astros.
Houston general manager James Click said the team had been in conversations with Brantley for months, but negotiations heated up when the Astros learned the Blue Jays also were pursuing him.
Brantley played just 19 of his 46 games in the outfield last season after starting 123 of his 148 games in the outfield in his first year with the Astros.
Click is relieved that he was able to bring back Brantley and believes the 33-year-old will be an important veteran presence on a team that has gotten significantly younger in the last year.