According to some guy named Dan Walsh, Zduriencik has brought Brad Nelson back into the fold. This is kinda good news in the sense that he is a young, talented, USSM approved, lefty hitter with the kind of old player skills our roster desparately needs. The problem, as davidcameron points out is he has nowhere to play, even in the event of the long overdue release of Brian LaHair, which leads me to the speculative portion of my post.
Beltre's availability has been much discussed, and while his hitting so far is not going to keep Zduriencik's pager buzzing, his talent is undeniable and his defense has been as advertised. Trading Beltre is a reasonable move both in terms of profit for the team and feasablility. In the event of a Beltre trade, Branyan can potentially cross the diamond to play third base, making room for one of the Tacoma LH 1B/DH clusterfuck and adding balance to the lineup. Again, as Dave Allen pointed out in yesterday's USSM post, replacing one of our free swinging righties with a league average LH bat would add a half a run per game on average against the likes of Weaver, Feldman, and Colon. This would be a good thing.
Naturally, the team takes a significant defensive hit, going from AB's stellar defense to Branyan's average at absolute best, which mitigates the upside. But with the added production, as well as the presumed infusion of talent into the system, it seems like an overall win for the team both in terms of 09 and beyond. I'm not entirely convinced it makes a lot of sense, and Branyan may not be able to play a convincing 3B at all. Additionally, playing 3B may take away from his hitting. Who knows. But the thought has occurred to me a few times and I wanted to toss it out there for general discussion.