Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Russell Branyan--new Mariner

Per Geoff Baker. No word on the financial terms, but I can almost guarantee it's a one-year deal.

Branyan is your prototypical feast-or-famine slugger. He can mash the ball, but his strikeout rates are almost Jack Cust-esque. Still, the left-handed power potential is there, and he'll be a massive improvement over the three-ring circus of Sexon, Cairo and LaHair at 1B. Plus, he can play a little 3B in a pinch. He can't hit lefties to save his life, so there will have to be some kind of platoon at 1B/DH.

I like this move a lot. Branyan is obviously not in the team's future plans, but he's the perfect one-year stopgap--someone who can give decent production for next-to-nothing while the team searches for a long-term answer. As Zduriencik's first on-the-field move this winter, this gets a solid nod of approval from me.

UPDATE: ESPN is saying one year, $1.4 million with performance incentives, which is around the amount I was expecting. There is almost no downside to this move at all.

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