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D’Backs find a first baseman, sign Russell Branyan

Feb 16, 2011, 6:51 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Getty Images

From SI.com’s Jon Heyman comes word that the Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a minor league contract with Russell Branyan.

The deal also carries an invitation to spring training, where Branyan will have the opportunity to put a claim on Arizona’s starting first base gig.

Juan Miranda and Brandon Allen had been ticketed for the job, but those two lack experience and proven power potential. Branyan collected 25 home runs between stays with the Mariners and Indians last season and is plenty capable of posting a higher total this year while playing half of his games at the Diamondbacks’ power-friendly Chase Field.

Allen will probably be shipped to Triple-A once camp breaks, unless the Diamondbacks can find a quick trade partner. Miranda is out of minor league options and will likely remain on board as a backup.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Now that’s one heckuva move right there. The D’Backs go from a very questionable platoon situation to adding a solid glove man at first who figures to have 30+ homer pop down in Arizona and it’s all on a minor league deal. Nice move by Towers.

    • bigharold - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

      No denying Branyan’s pop but he get’s hurt a lot and strikes out a lot too. There is a reason that he’s moved around so much.

      • clydeserra - Feb 16, 2011 at 9:54 PM

        Well, strikeouts aren’t really the issue. More that he is made of glass.

  2. Chris K - Feb 16, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    I want a Bautsita article and I want it now!

    • Chris K - Feb 16, 2011 at 8:57 PM

      Whoops. RSS feed didn’t update yet.

  3. marinermousse - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Not sure if Branyan is made out of glass, but he did have two “incidents” within a relatively short period of time, with a hotel table falling on his foot (??) and then some kind of mishap supposedly in a pizzeria (can’t remember the details.) NO COMMENT On the other side, he has hit more HR in the past two years than Evan Longoria, Nelson Cruz and Matt Holliday ;>>)

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