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Russell Branyan | First Baseman

Team: New York Yankees
Age / DOB:  (38) / 12/19/1975
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 227
Bats / Throws: Left / Right
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Yankees released 1B Russell Branyan.
Branyan signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in late March and performed pretty well at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre over the first few months of the 2012 season, but he's been out since July 6 because of a back injury. The 36-year-old former slugger could struggle to ever make it back to the major leagues. Sat, Aug 11, 2012 04:06:00 PM

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Date:

Yankees released 1B Russell Branyan; re-signed him to a minor league contract.

We're assuming that Branyan was released only for procedural reasons, most likely due to the changes in the new collective bargaining agreement. The veteran slugger hasn't appeared in any Grapefruit League games this spring due to lingering issues with his back, but will start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre once he's back to full health.
Sat, Mar 31, 2012 12:04:00 AM

Russell Branyan has been dealing with a back injury since the beginning of camp.

Whatever chance Branyan might have had to make the Opening Day roster is dwindling rapidly. He'll likely begin the year at Triple-A, though it's not clear if he might have an opt-out clause in his deal if he doesn't crack the 25-man roster.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 04:05:00 PM

Yankees signed 1B/DH Russell Branyan to a minor league contract.

The deal includes a spring training invite. Branyan batted .197/.295/.370 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 146 plate appearances last season between the Diamondbacks and Angels. The 36-year-old offers some pop from the left side of the plate, but it's hard to count on him with his long history of back issues. His addition is not expected to impact the club's pursuit of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 01:44:00 PM

Russell Branyan intends to continue his playing career.

Branyan has struggled to find much free agent interest this offseason, but that could change as spring training approaches and teams look to add roster depth. The 36-year-old first baseman batted .197/.295/.370 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 146 plate appearances last season between the Diamondbacks and Angels. He'll likely have to accept a minor league deal.
Mon, Jan 30, 2012 11:09:00 AM

Russell Branyan hit a two-run homer in Los Angeles' loss to the Rangers on Monday.

He took Alexi Ogando deep in the seventh. The bomb was Branyan's second in five days after he went over a month without one. Glued to the Halos bench, he's not worth a look in even deep AL-only leagues.
Tue, Aug 16, 2011 01:34:00 AM

Russell Branyan, a career .147 hitter as a pinch-hitter, delivered a three-run homer off Mariano Rivera off the bench on Thursday.

It was Branyan's third homer in 51 at-bats since he signed with the Angels on April 26. As little playing time as he's getting, he has no fantasy value at all.
Thu, Aug 11, 2011 04:25:00 PM

Russell Branyan hit his first homer as an Angel in the win over the Dodgers on Sunday night.

It was a two-run shot in the seventh inning that gave the Angels a 3-1 lead. Branyan entered the game with a .171/.222/.195 line in 41 at-bats with the Halos. He still might be a bad week or two away from being cut.
Sun, Jul 3, 2011 11:50:00 PM

Russell Branyan is starting at first base for the Angels against the Twins on Saturday.

He started at DH on Friday. GM Tony Reagins recently hinted that Branyan could get the start at first most days when the Angels are facing right-handed pitching, and with the Twins throwing easy-to-hit righty Anthony Swarzak on Saturday, Branyan could be in for a nice night.
Sat, May 28, 2011 06:35:00 PM

Angels GM Tony Reagins indicated that the newly signed Russell Branyan could receive the bulk of the playing time at first base against right-handed pitching.

"We've had some discussions over the last two weeks about the offense and being able to match up (Mark) Trumbo better against left-handed pitching," Reagins said. "We thought Russell was a viable option to give Mark some breaks against right-handed pitching." It makes sense, as Branyan has mashed right-handed pitching the last few seasons, while Trumbo has posted just a .708 OPS against them this year as opposed to an .822 mark against lefties. Branyan should also see some time in the DH slot, with Bobby Abreu moving to the outfield and Peter Bourjos to the bench.
Fri, May 27, 2011 11:29:00 AM

Angels signed 1B/DH Russell Branyan.

Branyan is active for Thursday's game against the Athletics. The veteran slugger was released by the Diamondbacks over the weekend after batting just .210/.290/.339 over his first 69 plate appearances, but we knew he wouldn't be out of work for long. It's not clear whether the Angels intend to use him at first base or designated hitter, but he will certainly help their depleted lineup.
Thu, May 26, 2011 02:38:00 PM

Diamondbacks released 1B Russell Branyan.

He was cleared to make room for Saturday's starter Micah Owings on the active roster. Branyan began the year in a timeshare with Juan Miranda at first base, but he has only logged 16 at-bats this month. The veteran slugger will surely draw interest from other teams.
Sat, May 21, 2011 12:46:00 AM

Making his first start of the month, Russell Branyan went 0-for-4 against the Giants on Thursday.

Even after today, Branyan is hitting .280 and slugging .465 in 12 games as a first baseman. However, the Diamondbacks have gone to Juan Miranda there most of the time, and Branyan hasn't contributed off the bench, goinv 0-for-12 as a pinch-hitter. One wonders if they might just end up releasing him.
Thu, May 12, 2011 06:36:00 PM

Russell Branyan has yet to start a game in May.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said coming into the season that he planned on Juan Miranda being his starter at first base, but that didn't really play out initially, as Branyan was receiving a bit more playing time. Lately, though, that's changed, as Branyan has been limited to pinch-hitting duty while Miranda gets most of the time at first. Xavier Nady has also been playing more first base lately than Branyan, getting a couple starts there already this month.
Mon, May 9, 2011 02:43:00 PM

Russell Branyan started at first base for the third straight game Friday.

Juan Miranda opened the year as the primary first baseman, but has just four starts compared to five for Branyan. Even though Branyan is a more established hitter and is off to a better start with the bat, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson isn't ready to say which way he's leaning. "That's probably the reason why I reserve a lot of the things I say," said Gibson. "You can always change your mind. Juan's going to get his playing time, but right now I felt this was the right way to go. Tomorrow it may be somebody different." We think Branyan will end up with the most at-bats here, so it would be wise to file him away in NL-only leagues.
Sat, Apr 16, 2011 12:02:00 AM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Brian McCann
2Francisco Cervelli
1B1Mark Teixeira
2B1Brian Roberts
2Dean Anna
3Scott Sizemore
SS1Derek Jeter
2Brendan Ryan
3B1Kelly Johnson
2Yangervis Solarte
3Alex Rodriguez
LF1Brett Gardner
CF1Jacoby Ellsbury
RF1Carlos Beltran
2Ichiro Suzuki
DH1Alfonso Soriano
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1CC Sabathia
2Hiroki Kuroda
3Masahiro Tanaka
4Ivan Nova
5Michael Pineda
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1David Robertson
2Shawn Kelley
3Matt Thornton
4Dellin Betances
5Adam Warren
6David Phelps
7Vidal Nuno
8Cesar Cabral
9Shane Greene