Best Free Agent Signings of 2009: Russell Branyan


Best Free Agent Signings of 2009: Russell Branyan

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The Seattle Mariners December 3rd signing of Russell Branyan (one year contract at $1.4 million) kicks off this years edition of best free agent signings.

Branyan is a left-handed power bat with less than desirable defense. While his D is below average, he is flexible enough to play at 1st, 3rd, LF and RF.

This guy is a perfect example of what sabernerds call the three true outcomes. In his career over 50% of his plate appearances end in either a walk, strikeout or home run. While he’s been up and down throughout the minors in his career, Branyan has been one of the top power hitters per AB during his MLB career. Check out this career list, sorted by AB per HR.

Arod: 14.21

Pujols: 14.35

Branyan: 15.04

Delgado: 15.32

Ortiz: 16.02

Griffey: 16.24

V. Guerrero: 16.88

That’s some elite company. With the money being tossed around this off-season the Mariners won’t need a hell of a lot of production to justify this signing. If Russell is given 400+ at-bats he should hit 20+ HR, a nice return vs about 20 IP of AJ Burnett’s $85 million contract.

Plus he’s good for team morale

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  • In Branyan’s 11 year career, he has never had 400AB’s in a season or hit 20 hr in a season. This is definitely a perfect-world-projection if there ever was one.

  • Incorrect. In 2001 Branyan hit 20 HR in 315 AB and in 2002 he hit 24 HR in 378 AB.

    Last season in 132 AB he hit 12 HR.

    At a career .813 OPS (better than Rios & Wells), Branyan has never been given a full-time shot. If he gets the 400 AB I think he’ll be a lock to get 20 HR.

  • Wow, I totally failed in looking up his stats.

  • brent in Korea

    Scutaro took 50 cents on the dollar for his contract with Oakland. That is the steal of the offseason by far.

  • brent in Korea

    Scutaro as in Mark Ellis …is what I meant.

  • That was a great deal for the A’s with an added 2011 option. Beane continues to get things done on a shoe string budget. Even with a handful of his secrets and techniques out in the open, he still seems to get more done than the average GM.

    We have a few more Best FA’s of 2009 articles coming but since Ellis was signed before he filed for free agency he’s ineligible for this series of articles. Still a great signing though.

  • Another great signing was the Dodgers 3-year deal with Casey Blake. Third base has been a disaster for the Dodgers since Adrian Beltre left, and after trading for Blake late last season, he provided timely hitting and much better than anticipated defense. Three years at just under $6 Million per makes 3d now a solid position, and with Furcal also resigned and the addition of solid back-up Mark Loretta, the questionable infield is now a strength.

    Re-Signing Manny and a couple of veteran starters should now be the Dodger priorities. Hopefully that will work out as well.

  • Agreed, and I love me some Loretta. A very solid middle infielder only 4 years from a monster (relative to his position) season.

  • In Branyan’s 11 year career, he has never had 400AB’s in a season or hit 20 hr in a season. This is definitely a perfect-world-projection if there ever was one.

    Aside from your failure to look up stats, you also don’t have much of a future as a stats projector.

    18 home runs in only 222 at bats so far. Yay, we live in a perfect world!

  • Guilty as charged.

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