The Rays are one of two teams that could land Russell Branyan. However, the Indians are still considered the favorite.
It appears the bidding for Russell Branyan is down to the Indians and Rays. Foxsports.com reports that Boston is no longer interested and that has been confirmed…The team that secures Branyan’s services will most likely be the one that can guarantee him the most at-bats. Right now, it’s believed that the money being offered by the Indians and Rays is about equal.
The Rays can only guarantee more at bats for Branyan is if they can trade Pat Burrell. And if they can’t trade Burrell, the Rays would then be down to two bench spots to back up the seven spots behind the pitcher.
And like every potential move made by the Rays, there are risks despite his 31 home runs and .867 OPS. Branyan’s 2009 season (2.8 WAR) was the first in which was worth more than 1.3 wins. And physically, Branyan suffered back problems in the second-half of the season. At 34, it might be too much to hope that he can overcome back issues and repeat his sudden offensive surge.
Branyan, who played 64 games for the Devil Rays in 2006 would be a nice addition for the Rays, if he stays healthy, and if they can move Burrell.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays officially announced that they are backing out of their partnership with The Mosaic Company to rename the team’s spring training park: “While we believe this naming rights deal presents many benefits to both the Rays and the entire community, neither the Rays nor Mosaic wants it to distract the team and fans from their focus on baseball.”
- The St. Pete Times obtained a copy of a map from one developer’s plan for the channelside area that includes a new stadium for the Rays: “The map shows a stadium nestled between Meridian Street to the east and the Crosstown Expressway to the west, and between Whiting Street to the north and Cumberland Avenue to the south. Home plate is on the Cumberland side, so fans could look north and west toward downtown.” [St. Pete Times]
- Bud Selig repeated his stance that the Rays need a new stadium. [Tampa Tribune]
- Noah Pransky weighs in on moving the Rays to Tampa and the hurdles that stand in the way…Our thoughts on the post are in the comments section. [Shadow of the Stadium]
- Marc Topkin reports Joe Maddon will not have any silly math formulas this year (e.g. 9=8). [St. Pete Times]
- David Price had lasik surgery on his eyes this off-season. [The Heater]
- Derek Shelton talks about his passion for hitting and the road that led him to the big leagues as a hitting instructor. [Tampa Tribune]
- Kelly Shoppach cares more about winning than playing time. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Posnanski says the Rays can win 100 games “if all goes right,” but suggests that it won’t and predicts they will win just 86. [SI.com]
- The Sporting News previews the Rays and grades the different areas of the roster. [The Sporting News]
- Baseball News Share makes a case for the Rays winning the World Series this season. [baseball news share]
- Dioner Navarro is being sued by his former agent for eating all of the agent’s food unpaid fees and expenses. [The Heater]
- This is fantasy-related, but still interesting to weigh Evan Longoria versus David Wright. [Fantasy Source]