Brantley, 31, was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005, and was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2008 as the player to be named later in the C.C. Sabathia deal. Brantley has spent parts of the past ten seasons in the majors, all with Cleveland, and appeared to be establishing himself as a star in 2014, when he had a 6.7 bWAR year and finished 3rd in the MVP balloting. He hasn’t repeated that success, and was slowed by injuries in 2016 and 2017, but has been worth about 3.5 wins in his two healthy seasons since then (2015 and 2018), and has a career .295/.351/.430 slash line.
Brantley will presumably play left field for the Astros, which means that Kyle Tucker doesn’t have a clear path to the majors in 2019, since Josh Reddick will be manning right field. The Astros have been rumored to be pursuing catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins, and the addition of Brantley could mean that they would be more willing to part with Tucker in a deal to land Realmuto. Or Tucker could simply be heading back to AAA as depth for 2019.