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). 


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31 Comments on "Diamondbacks Sign Russell Branyan"


4 years 6 months ago

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.

Slopeboy
4 years 6 months 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 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

should be a nice platoon for allen and branyan screw miranda

Slopeboy
4 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

4 years 6 months ago

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

fishfan4life
4 years 6 months ago

He’ll hit 25+ HRs in that ballpark.

azdsnd
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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.

Gumby65
4 years 6 months 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…

johnnycomelately9
4 years 6 months ago

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

ykw
4 years 6 months 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?

phoenix2042
4 years 6 months 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!

lefty177
4 years 6 months 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?

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

pumpumpumpitup
4 years 6 months 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?

azdsnd
4 years 6 months ago

Not a chance in the world…

stonepie
4 years 6 months ago

i want to see this guy at the home run derby

ARod's Ring
4 years 6 months ago

he would probably swing and miss.

Motor_City_Bombshell
4 years 6 months ago

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

4 years 6 months ago

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

4 years 6 months ago

THE MUSCLE

baseballGreek
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

Cuz he’s the starting LF

ykw
4 years 6 months ago

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

azdsnd
4 years 6 months ago

Couldn’t have said it any better.