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MLB: OF Brantley signs 4-year extension with Indians

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FILE - In this July 7, 2013 file photo, Cleveland Indians' Michael Brantley hits a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland. Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila watches. A person familiar with the deal says the Indians have agreed to a long-term contract with outfielder Michael Brantley. Brantley, who was Cleveland's most consistent player last season, will sign a four-year, $25 million deal once he passes a physical, says the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been finalized. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

By JOE KAY

The Associated Press

First published Feb 13 2014 10:52AM
Updated Feb 25, 2014 04:41PM

Goodyear, Ariz. • The Cleveland Indians have signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a four-year, $25 million contract extension that avoids arbitration and gives him a prominent place in the team’s future.

Brantley led the team with a .284 batting average last season. He set career highs with 26 doubles, 10 homers, 73 RBIs and 66 runs. He also stole 17 bases in 21 attempts.

He moved from center to left field a year ago when the Indians signed Michael Bourn. Manager Terry Francona used him throughout the lineup, batting him everywhere except ninth in the order.

Brantley and the team agreed on a deal earlier in the week. He signed it after reporting for spring training and passing a physical.

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