Russell Branyan will be starting at first base for the Tribe

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Branyan finally inked his deal with the Indians today, and Manny Acta anointed him the starting first baseman:

Russell Branyan passed his physical today and officially became the
Indians starting first baseman. That’s right he’ll be starting at first
“He’s going to get the majority of playing time,” said manager Manny Acta. “We didn’t sign him to be a backup guy.

I figured that Branyan would have been more of a super-ute, spelling LaPorta early as he comes back from his injury, covering some left, maybe covering some third, but I guess not.  This should shift Matt LaPorta to leftfield and Michael Brantley to Columbus.

Which, while probably not what he had hoped for, he should like all the same. Columbus is way less depressing a city than Cleveland is.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.