The Mariners' acquisition of Russell Branyan last night came as the first major surprise of this year's trading season, given Seattle's place in the standings. Here's a collection of a few early reactions to the move, examining both teams' perspectives:
- When Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times heard about the trade, he thought it was a hoax. After hearing the rationale from GM Jack Zduriencik, Baker suggests that, in addition to improving this year's lineup, the move is also about Seattle's front office restoring credibility in the clubhouse.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer calls the move "deeply weird" for the Mariners, though he concedes that they probably didn't give up much.
- With Matt LaPorta playing so well in the minors, it was time for the Indians to stay on the phone until they found a taker for Branyan, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune is glad that opposing pitchers will finally have "someone to think about" in the Mariners' lineup.
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes discussed the deal with Indians GM Mark Shapiro, who said: "Russell held up his end of the bargain…. The season just isn't what we envisioned."