What do you get for the player who hits everywhere? A long-term contract extension, apparently. The Indians and outfielder Michael Brantley agreed on a four-year contract extension worth a total of $25 million, sources told cleveland.com on Monday. The deal also includes a club option for a fifth year for $11 million. Acquired in the CC Sabathia trade in 2008, Brantley is a career .277 hitter in parts of five seasons with the Indians. He batted .284 with 10 home runs and 73 RBIs last season. At some point during the 2013 season, Brantley batted in every spot in manager Terry Francona's batting order, except the No. 9 hole. He spent the most time in the No. 5 hole -- 62 games -- but also also batted seventh on 29 occasions and led off 25 times. He has not committed an error since June 3, 2012, a span of 245 games without a miscue. Brantley ranked in a tie for fourth in the American League in 2013 with 11 outfield assists. Brantley and the Indians were scheduled to meet for an arbitration hearing on Feb. 17. The Indians won their case against right-handed reliever Vinnie Pestano on Friday, their first arbitration hearing with a player since 1991. Pitchers Josh Tomlin and Justin Masterson also have arbitration hearings scheduled. The Indians had conversations about extensions with both Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis last year. Kipnis said he hoped the two sides could work something about before the start of the season and that he would end talks once the season commenced. Brantley could not become a free agent until after the 2016 campaign. The Indians would be essentially buying out his three arbitration years and one -- or two -- free agent years. The Bellevue, Wa., native earned $526,900 last season.
Indians, Michael Brantley agree on 4-year, $25 million extension
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Feb 11