The 33-year-old Brantley, a four-time All-Star, has been a well-above-average hitter with the Indians and Astros since his career began in 2009. Most recently, Brantley slashed .300/.364/.476 (134 wRC+) with five home runs in 187 plate appearances in 2020. The Astros did not issue him a qualifying offer after the season, so any team that signs him would not give up draft-pick compensation.
While Brantley is an appealing free agent and a left-hander who would add more balance to a righty-heavy Yankees lineup, it’s fair to wonder where he would fit on their roster. Brantley has spent most of his career in left field, where the Yankees have 2020 breakout player Clint Frazier. Similarly, right field is spoken for because of Aaron Judge’s presence. Although Brantley saw more time than ever at designated hitter last season, Giancarlo Stanton has that spot locked down in New York. So, despite the interest the club has shown, it’s difficult to envision a Yankees-Brantley union happening without a significant corresponding move taking place.