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Mariners Trade Two Minor League Players For Russell Branyan

Seattle had a chance to re-sign Russell Branyan in the off-season but declined because of concerns about the health of his back. Branyan signed with Cleveland and began the season as he ended his 2009 season, on the disabled list. Cleveland activated him on April 20 and since then he has shown the same mix of patience and prodigious power he did last season in Seattle. His walk rate is down a bit and so is his isolated slugging percentage, but despite that, he has been worth 1.2 wins above replacement as a batter and upgrades the Major League's worst collection of hitting first basemen. The questions are why now and to what end?