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The Indians ink Branyan

Feb 19, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

Branyan headshot.jpgBuster Olney reports that Cleveland has signed Russell Branyan to a one year deal with an option for 2011.  This year it’s a $2 million base salary with up to $1 million in incentives.  The option is of the mutual variety for $5 million. The seal is a juuuuuuust a bit below the $20-$30 million Branyan had reportedly been seeking earlier this offseason. The option adds a bit of security for Branyan, however, inasmuch as if he’s even moderately productive this year he’ll at least have a job for next year. Which is a relatively new experience for him.

As I’ve said before, I think the Indians and Branyan are a good match.  There’s no telling how healthy Matt LaPorta is going to be at first base. Jhonny Peralta has been the subject of trade rumors off and on for a while, and while maybe the 17th time is the charm for Andy Marte, there is no reason to think that he’s the answer at either corner.  Branyan could also see some time in left field.

My guess: Branyan gets a healthy number of plate appearances, he hits his incentives and at the end of the year people will be talking about this as one of the more savvy signings of the offseason.

UPDATE:  A few words on “mutual options.”  I used to always say that mutual options were meaningless in that, given either side can veto, it really doesn’t provide any security for anyone, contrary to what I said about Branyan above.  Except every time I wrote that someone would comment and say, no, it does provide security in that it creates a framework for a deal, etc. etc.  So fine, I decided I didn’t want the fight this time and just said what I said above. And as soon as I did people started asking me what kind of security a mutual option truly gives Branyan. Ugh.

So I have decided to punt and let Google be my friend. I love Google because it almost always introduces you to smart people saying interesting things. In this case it brought me to Rich Lederer — I already knew him, so it really wasn’t an introduction — who wrote many words about mutual options a couple of years ago, with the conclusion basically being “mutual options are meaningless.”  Click and read. You’ll be happy you did.

For my part: if my employer offered me a “mutual option” I probably wouldn’t sign it, because it sounds kind of weasely and ineffective. So there’s that.

  1. Ace - Feb 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    So I clicked through to your older post about Branyon, and was checking out the comments. Have you noticed that after a coule weeks, some truly bizarre spam starts showing up? No one likes spam, obviously, but these are strangely endearing. Like the commenter Female Abs: “Considerably, the post is in reality the best on this laudible topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your incoming updates.” And hey, I guess that’s just how I feel too, in so many words.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Yes, well aware of the spam in older comments. It’s driving me absolutely nuts (if for no other reason than I get email notifications of every comment, and I’d rather not get so much spam in my email box).
    We’re probably going to install catchpa soon to try and eliminate it.

  3. Charles Gates - Feb 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    So I Googled “thirstily look forward to your incoming updates,” and apparently, this is a commonly used phrase left on message boards. Just to demonstrate how far thirstily look forward to your incoming updates has penetrated the interweb, it’s on both The Number One Fan Site For Everything Lady GaGa and MS Business.
    So, Craig, being thirstily anticipated either makes you fairly commonplace, or part of the pending revolution. You decide.

  4. Lawrence A. Herman - Feb 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Does anyone track how many mutual options get picked up?

  5. Rollin Britsch - Feb 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Wow…Shapeeheadro Pres and then Lady Antonnetti gm, and now Russel the newest indian…Where do I call for world series tickets, same old shit different day

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