Michael Brantley is one of my favorite players of all time for this club. He comes across as someone who does everything right. From how he plays, to how he practices, how he treats people and how he respects his family. He’s the kind of guy you want your kids to look up to.
Yet, I’m not on board outright with the idea of bringing him back. It’s not because he washed, or because he’s too expensive, it’s because he doesn’t fit a need. The Guardians need a power hitter and that’s never been Brantley’s forte.
That said, there are guys who can develop into that, like Josh Naylor and Oscar Gonzalez. If they do, then the team doesn’t need another power hitter. They do still need an upgrade at first base/designated hitter. While Brantley doesn’t fill that need, his arrival could lead to some adjustments.
First, the Guardians could move Naylor to first base permanently. The team wanted him in the outfield but after he broke his leg, the team seems more willing to put him at first. Brantley can still play the outfield and would be fine in right (or left if you want to move Steven Kwan). Which means you would then have Gonzalez DH for you.
If that doesn’t jive with the projection of the outfield, which I believe to be finalized with Kwan, Myles Straw, Gonazlez, and eventually Will Brennan, then you can put Brantley at DH. It’s not ideal, as it’s usually a power-hitting spot in the lineup but it’s better than not having him on the roster.