D-backs sign Branyan to minor league deal
By JACK MAGRUDER
Feb. 17, 2011
The Diamondbacks created more competition in camp by signing Russell Branyan to a minor league contract Thursday.
Branyan, who has 189 home runs, will compete with Brandon Allen and newcomer Juan Miranda for the job at first base. All three hit left-handed, so that also could leave some at-bats there for right-handed-hitting Xavier Nady, the starter in left field.
Branyan, 36, hit .237 with 25 homers and 57 RBIs while splitting time between Cleveland and Seattle last season. After being traded to Seattle on June 26, he had 15 homers in 33 games with Seattle, averaging a homer every 13.67 at-bats.
He had a career year with Seattle in 2009, hitting .251 with career highs in homers (31) and RBI (76).
Branyan, who played for new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers in San Diego in 2006-07, has three homers in limited time (68 at-bats) at Chase Field. He also has played third base and the outfield in his 13-year major league career. He has struck about once every three at-bats in his career.