Jayson Stark is reporting that the Marlins have made an offer to Russell Branyan. It’s a major league deal with a low base and incentives. In that way it’s probably much like the $1.4 million he made in Seattle last year, where he hit 31 dingers.
Problem for him, though, is that he missed a lot of time down the stretch with a bad back, and when power is your game, a bad back is bad news. It also ended up being bad news for his market, inasmuch as he was reportedly expecting to sign a multi-year deal someplace to start at first. Given that the Marlins current first base options — Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez — are youngins, he may yet get to start, but it’s almost certainly going to be a one-and-done for Branyan.
Assuming he accepts the offer, that is. Which he should. Because really, I’m not sure who else would give him one at this point.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.