From SI.com’s Jon Heyman comes word that the Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a minor league contract with Russell Branyan.
The deal also carries an invitation to spring training, where Branyan will have the opportunity to put a claim on Arizona’s starting first base gig.
Juan Miranda and Brandon Allen had been ticketed for the job, but those two lack experience and proven power potential. Branyan collected 25 home runs between stays with the Mariners and Indians last season and is plenty capable of posting a higher total this year while playing half of his games at the Diamondbacks’ power-friendly Chase Field.
Allen will probably be shipped to Triple-A once camp breaks, unless the Diamondbacks can find a quick trade partner. Miranda is out of minor league options and will likely remain on board as a backup.