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M’s Make First Move


Dr. Zoinks and the Mariners made their first Major League free agent signing today, inking infielder Russell “The Muscle” Branyan to a 1-year deal. Branyan was formerly with the Brewers playing mostly a pinch hitting role off the bench. He plays 1st and 3rd and will probably be used in a platoon role as he does not seem to be able to hit left handed pitching…at all. Last year he was only used 14 times against southpaws and went 0-14 with 8 strikeouts. When facing right handers he has tremendous power but tends to strike out a lot.

The overall consensus in the M’s blogosphere is that while this isn’t a very impactful move, it is a low risk, medium reward move. It fills a gaping hole at 1B/DH that the we currently have without breaking the bank and buys us time to find our first basemen of the future. And heaven forbid if we trade Beltre he’ll be able to fill that hole albiet not very well.

In other M’s news Dr. Z said he talked to Brian Goldberg, agent for Ken Griffey Jr., about how the Kid would possibly fit into the Mariners future plans. Z told the press the conversation was nothing but cordial and wants to wait until after next weeks winter meetings in Las Vegas to see what direction he wants to take the team.

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Seattle Times, Fangraphs.com

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