Russell Branyan ... at 2010 spring training.
Russell Branyan's fourth tour with the Indians is over. Cleveland traded the veteran first baseman around midnight to the Seattle Mariners -- the team for which he played a year ago before signing as a free agent with the Tribe. Cleveland got outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and shortstop Juan Diaz. The Indians must send a player to be named or cash to Seattle to eventually complete the deal.
Carrera, 22, has spent the entire 2010 season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he was on the disabled list with a left hip pointer.
In 64 games, he has hit .268 (57-for-213) with 24 runs, six doubles, two triples, 18 RBI and nine stolen bases in 14 attempts.
In 18 games in June before getting injured, he hit .311 (19-for-61).
The left-handed hitter won the Double-A Southern League batting title in 2009, hitting .337 (111-for-329) with 68 runs, 12 doubles, four triples, two homers and 38 RBI in 91 games at West Tennessee. He also posted a league-leading .441 on-base percentage, which was third-best in all of minor league baseball.
The Venezuelan native was signed by the New York Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 and was one of several players sent to the Mariners in the three-team trade that included the Indians. Cleveland sent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to Seattle, got infielder Luis Valbuena from the Mariners, and reliever Joe Smith from the Mets in December 2008. Eight other players were exchanged between New York and Seattle in the blockbuster.
He will report to the Indians' Triple-A farm team in Columbus.
Diaz, 21, a 6-4, 170-pound switch-hitting shortstop, has spent the entire 2010 season at High Desert of the Class A California League. In 70 games, he hit .295 (75-for-254) with 39 runs, eight doubles, three triples, seven homers, 41 RBI and eight steals in 10 attempts.
Last year, Diaz batted .311 (101-325) with 55 runs, 22 doubles, five triples, four homers and 29 RBI in 84 games at High Desert as he was named to the California League All-Star Team.
The Dominican Republic native was on the disabled list from June 25 until August 4 with a fractured hamate in the left hand, but came back to finish the 2009 season and played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.
Diaz was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Seattle in 2006 and will report to Class A Kinston.
Branyan was signed by the Indians on Feb. 24 and hit .263 (45-for-171) with 24 runs, nine doubles, 10 homers and 24 RBI in 52 games. He missed all of spring training and the first month of the season rehabbing a sore back -- which limited him the second half of the 2009 season after he had an outstanding first half with the Mariners.
Drafted by Cleveland out of high school in the seventh round in 1994, Branyan has 174 major-league homers with the Indians, Mariners and six other clubs.
Cleveland traded Branyan to Cincinnati for first baseman Ben Broussard in 2002 and got him back from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor-league pitcher Scott Sturkie on April 25, 2004 -- but dealt him to Milwaukee two months later in a conditional (cash) deal.
After playing for the Brewers, Tampa Bay and San Diego, he signed again with Cleveland as a free agent on Aug. 8, 2007 -- but two days later was sold to Philadelphia.
The Indians will make a roster move prior to tomorrow’s game with the Cincinnati Reds to fill Branyan’s spot on the Major League 25-man roster.