According to MLB Daily Dish, the Marlins are in hot pursuit of Russell Branyan.
According to sources, the Marlins are stepping up their pursuits for free agent Russell Branyan.
The Marlins are believed to be looking to sign Branyan on a one year, incentive-laden contract. If they sign him, it would push Gaby Sanchez back to Triple-A for another season.
I have no idea who their sources are. I guess I could email them and ask. They are a part of the SB Nation so they might tell me. But I don't have the time.
I must admit, I'm not excited about this. If, as the report goes, it would mean that Branyan would be the everyday first baseman, that means the front office believes that Morrison isn't ready. I have no problem with that, but it also means they don't think much of Gaby's talents, and that I have a problem with.
There is no upside to Branyan being an everyday first baseman. The man is 34 years-old, and at that age he is in his declining years as a player. A hitter peaks around age 30. Yes, 30. And then there is a steep decline which kicks in around age 33. Of course, everyone is different, but it happens around that age give or take a year or two. Branyan is past that age and to expect him to even put up the numbers he did last season is expecting too much. Could he? Yeah, I guess. But it isn't the way to bet.
Gaby on the other hand is starting to come into his own, age-wise. And this, "he will never be more than a platoon player in the majors" is far from known. No one knows what he will do in the majors; he has never been given the chance to show his wares. What we do know about Gaby is that he has shown the ability to have plate discipline in the minors and he has also shown signs of being able to hit and field the position neatly.
Personally, I would rather take a chance on the young guy with an upside than the aging veteran with a bad back who is a strikeout machine. Now, if the Marlins just want to add Branyan as a left-handed bat off the bench and to mentor Gaby, I could get behind that, assuming Branyan's walk rate stays the same or increases.