Results tagged ‘ Mariners ’

Marlins pursuing Branyan?

Perhaps the Marlins have found their answer to a left-handed bat off the bench.

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Marlins have made a contract offer to veteran Russell Branyan. Stark reports the offer contains a low base salary with plenty of incentives.

The 34-year-old Branyan spent 2009 with the Mariners, where he earned $1.4 million while appearing in 116 games. Branyan belted 31 homers and drove in 76 runs.

The Marlins have been saying they are ready to give prospects Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez the chance to win the first base job. Branyan now appears primed to compete for a starting job. And if he doesn’t win it, he could fill the role of left-handed bat off the bench.

Branyan has 12 years in the big leagues, and he’s a .234 career hitter with 164 lifetime home runs.

Ross Gload was Florida’s primary left-handed pinch-hit option in 2009. A couple of months ago, Gload signed as a free agent with the Phillies.

If Branyan signs, his arrival pretty much secures Jorge Cantu at third base. Cantu is a fallback option to play first base.

Like Branyan, Morrison is a left-handed hitter. Morrison also can play a corner outfield spot.

Joe Frisaro

 

Market for Hermida

Speculation continues to run high that the Marlins will trade outfielder Jeremy Hermida this offseason.

The 25-year-old former first-round pick in 2002, came off a rough season, batting .259 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. A strained right oblique on Sept. 2, limited him to one pinch-hit appearance in the final weeks of the season.

Hermida will be entering his second season of arbitration. He made $2.25 million this year, and by the nature of the system, he’d be in line for a raise.

The Marlins are hopeful Cameron Maybin will win the center field position, and Cody Ross is expected to return. Ross, also in his second season of arbitration, could be earmarked for right field, making Hermida expendable.

Some teams believed to be interested in Hermida are the Mariners, Rays, Mets and Blue Jays. The Cubs also could have interest.

Even though Hermida has yet to perform as so many envisioned, he does have value on the open market. He still would be a more affordable option than many soon-to-be free agent outfielders. Also, in arbitration, a team could control his rights for two seasons.

Several scouts feel Hermida may be one of those players who benefits by a change of scenery.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

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