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UPDATE: Branyan headed back to M's in confusing deal

Jun 27, 2010, 12:03 PM EDT

Russell "The Muscle" Branyan is headed back to Seattle in a strange, strange swap.

UPDATE, 12:03 PM:  Castrovince adds this morning that the Mariners will pick up the rest of Branyan’s nearly $1.2 million in remaining salary.  Yup, the deal just got even more perplexing.

12:18 AM:  Here’s an odd one.

According to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, the Mariners have reacquired first baseman Russell Branyan from the Indians for 23-year-old center fielder Ezequiel Carrera and 21-year-old shortstop Juan Diaz.

Carrera and Diaz are far from top prospects, but Branyan is 34 and clearly at the tail end of his career.  The Mariners had plenty of chances to re-sign him this offseason and never made it happen.  Now 14 games back in the American League West standings, are they really thinking that his bat is going to provide a serious boost?

Branyan was hitting a respectable .263/.328/.491 with 10 home runs for Cleveland, but there are too many holes in Seattle this season.  It just doesn’t make sense to deal young talent.

Known mostly for his speed, Carrera was hitting .268/.339/.318 with zero home runs and nine stolen bases in 64 games this season for Triple-A Tacoma.  Diaz was batting .295 with a .779 OPS, seven home runs and 41 RBI in 254 at-bats with Single-A High Desert.

The Indians are expected to recall Matt LaPorta from Triple-A Columbus, where he has been mashing to the tune of a 1.061 OPS since his June 7 demotion.  He will start for the rest of the season at first base.

  1. ADROY84 - Jun 27, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    Well, it’s really the other way around: Branyan had plenty of chances to sign with Seattle in the off season. The Mariners wanted him back and had an offer on the table right from the start but Branyan wanted a multi-year deal worth 8 figures and the Mariners weren’t going there. Eventually they had to move on and fill the hole at 1B with Kotchman (which turned into an even bigger hole).

  2. Anon - Jun 27, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Remember when the Mariners GM was a genius?

  3. Xpensive Wino - Jun 27, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Branyan is way better than what they have at first base at the moment and if those guys aren’t top-notch, long-term answers, they made their team more competitive for the short term and Branyan’s salary isn’t exactly a king’s ransom.
    I never have a problem with a team doing whatever it can to help itself win in the moment and it doesn’t look like they’re giving up a lot to get him or spending a lot to do it.

  4. Old Gator - Jun 27, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I do, but I also recall plenty of commentators, including both bloggers and correspondents here on HBT, pointing out that the team was going to have trouble scoring many runs and had some injury-prone players upon whom it was counting too heavily to be key contributors, one of whom was a little, shall we say, unstable to boot. I thought the Ms were going to be a much more interesting and entertaining team this year, but at the same time, they didn’t really begin the season to unanimous approbation.

  5. fred117 - Jun 27, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    And what ever happened to Jermaine Dye?

  6. ADROY84 - Jun 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    I believe Jermaine Dye is on the record saying he doesn’t want to DH and isn’t willing to settle when it comes to money. So, he wants money he’s not worth and refuses to DH when that’s what a team would want him to do.

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