Russell Branyan makes the Diamondbacks

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This decision was something of a no-brainer, but according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Russell Branyan will be on the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster.

Branyan, who could have opted out of his minor league contract yesterday, is batting .420 (21-for-50) with four home runs, three doubles and 17 RBI this spring.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson likes what he’s seeing from his new slugger, but he isn’t ready to say where Branyan will fit in his lineup.

“Haven’t determined that yet,” he said. “(Branyan) may, he may not (get his share of starts). I don’t know what to tell you about how the mix will go.”

The most likely scenario is that Branyan will share at-bats with Juan Miranda at first base. Brandon Allen, who has options remaining, could be sent to Triple-A Reno.

Branyan, 35, batted .237/.323/.487 with 25 homers and 57 RBI over 428 plate appearances between the Indians and Mariners last season. Assuming he can stay healthy, he’s going to enjoy life in Chase Field.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.