Branyan passes, Gimenez dropped
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
As expected, the Indians have made the Russell Branyan signing official. They were happy enough with the results of his physical examination to sign him to a one-year, $2 million deal with up to $1 million more in potential incentives. There’s also a mutual option for 2011 worth $5 million.
To make room for Branyan on the 40-man roster, utilityman Chris Gimenez was outrighted to Triple-A Columbus and reassigned to Major League camp as a non-roster invitee.
Here’s the full story on Indians.com.
UPDATE: The Indians also purchased the contract of Anthony Reyes from Triple-A Columbus and placed him on the 60-day disabled list.
UPDATE No. 2: What essentially happened is Gimenez was designated (and cleared waivers) to make room for Reyes, who was then placed on the DL to make room for Branyan. The reason the Indians did this was because Reyes (who is, as you recall, recovering from Tommy John) has an out in his contract at the end of camp, and the Indians wants to keep him around should he recover in time to help them in the second half.
Also, Shapiro and Manny Acta confirmed our expectations that Branyan will be the regular at first base, though they stopped short of saying that confirms that Matt LaPorta will be a regular in left. They said both LaPorta and Brantley will be playing every day “somewhere.”
I’d still expect LaPorta in left and Brantley in Columbus on Opening Day.
UPDATE No. 3: I neglected to mention that while Branyan is viewed as a potential option at third base, Acta does not plan to use him in the outfield.