Diamondbacks Sign Russell Branyan

The Diamondbacks have signed Russell Branyan to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, the team announced. 

Branyan, 35, will certainly help replace some of the power lost when Mark Reynolds was traded away and Adam LaRoche signed with the Nationals. The 35-year-old is coming off two straight years with 25+ home runs, though he's also spent time on the disabled list with back issues each year. Branyan is a classic three true outcomes player; 47.2% of his 933 plate appearances over the last two seasons ended with strike three, ball four, or a jog around the bases. 

Arizona was slated to have Brandon Allen and the out-of-options Juan Miranda battle it out for the first base job in Spring Training, but Branyan adds a veteran option to the group. Allen and Miranda have combined for just 266 plate appearances at the big league level, and all three players are left-handed hitters, so a platoon isn't possible.  

This will be Branyan's fifth one-year contract in as many seasons. He is represented by ACES. SI.com's Joe Lemire first reported that the slugger had found a job (on Twitter). 

31 Responses to Diamondbacks Sign Russell Branyan Leave a Reply

  1. KT has ties will Russell the muscle, good sign for the D-Backs. There is no risk signing him to a minor league contract whatsoever.

  2. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    Branyan better come to ST in shape to play because Miranda will beat him out for the position. Miranda is a much better fielder and has been stuck in the Yankees minor league system behind Giambi and Tex. Given an opportunity to play regularly he should put up good numbers in the NL west.

    Branyan has to stay healthy and do what he does best, hit for power and play decent defense. Otherwise Kevin Towers will cut him loose very quickly.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      Then someone who needs some serious pop will sign him with a low risk contract. Branyan has proved when he does get the AB’s, he will produce.

  3. Interesting signing. Maybe they saw something with Allen and Miranda they didn’t like. He should make the team.

  4. jwsox 4 years ago

    should be a nice platoon for allen and branyan screw miranda

    • Slopeboy 4 years ago

      HaHa. Even when they take off the off the pinstripes, former Yanks can’t escape the haters. Allen bats lefty, so I don’t think it would be a Platoon

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        I was going to say that, but I wasn’t 100% sure.

  5. Russel’s going to look like He-Man at Chase.

  6. fishfan4life 4 years ago

    He’ll hit 25+ HRs in that ballpark.

    • azdsnd 4 years ago

      More than that… he had 46 home runs in 173 games at SAFECO over the last two years. Going from a ginormous AL park to a minuscule NL park that is heaven for power-hitting lefties… if he stays healthy for a full year (admittedly extremely unlikely), he could approach absurd levels of HRs… 45 is conservative. Even just in 100 games or so, which is what his back has allowed him to play in the last couple of years, he could manage 30-35.

  7. I don’t understand Towers’ logic here. Is he trying to collect fringe ML first basemen?

    I guess its a depth move, but I see it doing more harm (by taking away at bats for Brandon Allen) than good.

    • azdsnd 4 years ago

      It’s a minor league deal and Branyan has the potential to provide 2+ WAR in 2011 as a part-time player. Why don’t you make this deal? If you still like Allen, put him in left field. He’s passable there and Chase is small.

  8. Gumby65 4 years ago

    Too bad they could have kept Reynolds and had Branyon; the ol’ ballpark would have had a green feel to it, with the natural cooling system being generated from the batters box…

  9. johnnycomelately9 4 years ago

    Nady and Branyan are going to put up some nice numbers in Arizona. Good dumpster dives by Towers.

    • ykw 4 years ago

      Nady’s is a terrible bat (exactly one season above 6.5 batting runs for his career). James projects him at .265/.328 /.412, but that seems quite a stretch; that 2008 outlier with all those PAs behind it is likely still weighing more heavily than it would if he’d had more than ~375 PA since.

      Branyan is nice to have — but if that’s the type of player the DBacks want, why is Mark Reynolds in Baltimore?

  10. phoenix2042 4 years ago

    i thought he was destined to be another super cheap, power hitting veteran for the rays. i guess they can’t have all of them, no matter what fangraphs wants me to believe!

  11. lefty177 4 years ago

    wasn’t their whole reasoning for getting rid of Reynolds because the team struck out too often? Doesn’t Branyan strike out pretty often? Did they give up on the No Strikeout Policy?

    • Small difference between the two:

      Reynolds: $12.5M over the next two years, had trade value
      Branyan: Plays for free as long as they give him good health insurance

      • gringo20 4 years ago

        Reynolds trade value was about as low as it’ll ever be. I think Kevin Towers is just mocking Reynolds fans now.

    • azdsnd 4 years ago

      No, the reason they traded Reynolds was because they saw his offensive production declining (for whatever reasons), and got twelve years of quality relief control for him.

  12. pumpumpumpitup 4 years ago

    Is there any possibility that Branyan can go back to Third, where he played in Milwaukee, and platoon with Mora, who doesn’t handle righties that well?

  13. stonepie 4 years ago

    i want to see this guy at the home run derby

  14. Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

    At a minor league deal, there’s no risk here. I love this signing for the D-backs.

  15. Do the D-Backs think that high strikeout rates are a positive stat? There team is riddled with them.


  17. baseballGreek 4 years ago

    It’s surprising that this caliber of mlb HR hitter didn’t get signed earlier as the
    LH half of a 1B or DH platoon.

  18. Cuz he’s the starting LF

  19. ykw 4 years ago

    And his offense is awful for an OF; it’d be even worse at 1B.

  20. azdsnd 4 years ago

    Couldn’t have said it any better.

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