Quick Hits: Branyan, Reds, Mariners, Astros

Links for Monday night…

  • Russell Branyan intends to play in 2012, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes tweets. Branyan posted a .197/.295/.370 line with the Diamondbacks and Angels in 2011, but hit 25 home runs in 2010.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty said he hopes to lock Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips up long-term, even though doing so would require major commitments, MLB.com youth correspondent Meggie Zahneis reports. "Everyone has to understand that these are expensive deals and there is only so much we can do," Jocketty said. An extension for Votto would likely require one of the largest deals in MLB history.
  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner argues that the Mariners should make another move or two, even if they don’t project to contend in 2012. There’s value in staying in the pennant race and the Mariners can maximize their chances of staying competitive by adding to the roster before Opening Day, Cameron writes.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America offers scouting reports on six intriguing international players not named Yoenis Cespedes. Outfielder Jorge Soler, lefty Gerardo Concepcion and right Armando Rivero are worth watching, Badler writes.
  • Astros owner Jim Crane announced that the team will not be changing its name. “The Houston Astros are here to stay,” he said.