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.
The Yankees interviewed Aaron Boone for their managerial vacancy on Friday, and today it was Chris Woodward’s turn. That makes at least five interviews since the offseason began, and Woodward’s likely won’t be the last.
Like fellow candidate Eric Wedge, whom the Yankees interviewed just last week, Woodward has never played or coached for the club. He spent the majority of his 12-year career with the Blue Jays and picked up brief stints with the Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox before returning to Toronto for his final season in 2011. Following retirement, he served as the Mariners’ minor league infield coordinator and infield and first base coach from 2012-2015. During the 2015 offseason, he jumped over to the National League to work with the Dodgers as a third base coach, and saw his first postseason run since the Mets lost to the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.
While Woodward has yet to manage at the major league level, he was named manager of the New Zealand national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. It’s certainly conceivable that the Yankees would prefer a candidate with significant experience leading a major league team, but right now the only person who fits that bill is Eric Wedge — and, well, it’s Eric Wedge.