Once again Cashman is handing out minor league deals and 2012 Spring Training invites, and the latest recipient, according to the New York Post, is 37-year old Russell Branyan.
The left-handed batting Branyan can play in the outfield, and at first and third base if he makes the team this spring. The latest team Branyan got released from was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the rest of his 14 MLB seasons reads like a bad wrap sheet.
Branyan started his career as a Cleveland Indian and from there has played for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Let me just say that this signing makes me think that Cashman is really pushing his luck, or is not thinking clearly.
Last season, Branyan split time between playing first and third base for the D-backs and the Angles. Combined, Branyan had 127 at-bats and posted a .197 batting average, five home-runs, 14 RBIs, 18 walks and struck out 41 times. His OBP was a mere .295, while slugging .370 in the 68 games he played in.
In 2010, Branyan did hit 25 homers, with 57 RBIs and 46 walks over 109 at-bats but he also struck out 131 times. This was again while playing for two teams, as the Indians traded Branyan to the Mariners.
This is almost making me sick knowing Chavez is sitting somewhere as a free agent.
The Yankees should not even waste five cents on Branyan, and here are three reasons why:
1) Throughout his career, Branyan has been prone to injuries but not just on the baseball field. One example dating back to late September 2010, while playing for the Mariners, Branyan reportedly injured himself while out a pizza parlor according to NBC Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra. Calcaterra also broke the news when Branyan had injured himself back in July, this time a hotel table hit his foot at 5am.
That is just a small slice of Branyan’s injury history, as he has spent time on the DL with a trained tendon in his right wrist, had arthroscopic surgery on this shoulder, a sprained right ankle, a fractured middle finger on his left hand, back spasms, a right oblique strain, a herniated disk and he also suffers from chronic eye problems.
2) Branyan is what is referred to as a “free swinger,” meaning he swings ate everything hence his strikeout numbers. And supposedly the problem is only getting worse.
Branyan just turned 37 this past December, so his bat speed is sure to decline as well and he is completely useless without power.
3) Back in 2008, Branyan made headlines for being arrested for assaulting his wife, something that no female wants to hear about. Other players have probably done worse that we don’t know about, but that doesn’t make this right at all.
The order requires Branyan to turn over his keys and garage door openers to both the couple’s homes in Pepper Pike and in Franklin, Tenn., and orders him not to be within 500 feet of his wife or either of his two children. The order does not allow Branyan any visitation rights with his two children, ages 4 and eight months. It also prohibits him from consuming any alcohol or illegal drugs at any time.
Yikes! This guy sounds real stellar.
Branyan is starting to remind me of a poor-man’s Nick Johnson, with rumored Pat-the Bat tendencies.
Let’s just hope his invite is purely just to offer a cushion before shoving Branyan to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, because I am going to have a hard time ever cheering for this guy.
In addition to the fact that Branyan is practically useless, as he can barely play third base anymore, the Yankees honestly don’t need any more bad press than they are already raking up, and bringing party-hardy Branyan to the Bronx is just a ticking time bomb.
- Branyan agrees to minor leaue deal with Yankees (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Yankees sign Russell Branyan to minor-league deal (nydailynews.com)
- Yanks sign Russell Branyan to minor league deal (riveraveblues.com)
- Yanks Sign Russell Branyan to Minor League Deal (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- Yankees Sign Russell Branyan (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- Russell Branyan, Yankees Make a Deal (myfoxny.com)
- Heyman: Yankees Sign Russell Branyan To Minor-League Deal (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Yankees Sign Russell Branyan (mlbtraderumors.com)