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I Must Be Missing Something

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...because if I'm not, then I don't get how something like this could happen to a guy like Russ Branyan:

Third baseman Russell Branyan cleared outright waivers Wednesday, moving a step closer to officially parting ways with the Milwaukee Brewers.
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Any team could have claimed Branyan for $20,000 while on outright waivers. He will be available for $1 while on release waivers, the same price the Brewers paid to claim infielder Zach Sorensen from the Los Angeles Angels this off-season.

I understand that Branyan is a bad defensive infielder who strikes out a lot and hits for a low average. He's also a terrible pinch-hitter, going 7-77 with 46 whiffs in that role for his career. In short, he's not much of a National League player, which explains why the Brewers felt he was expendable. But what excuse do the other 14 teams have? Righties make up something like 70% of the pitchers in the league, and Branyan kills them, getting on base and hitting for power to the tune of an .884 OPS over the last three seasons. Used properly, this is a valuable player who can add a few wins for less than a million dollars. And nobody thought he was worth a $20,000 waiver claim?

I suppose the good news is that, as much as we may be disappointed that Bavasi didn't grab Branyan off the scrap heap, nobody else did, either, meaning that ours isn't the only front office to miss an easy chance to improve the ML roster. I'm stumped. It's not like there are any off-the-field or personality issues with the guy. Are we really still in a primitive stage where GMs are incapable of overlooking a bunch of strikeouts when it comes to an otherwise quality player? I thought we were beyond that, but I guess I got ahead of myself.

Maybe someone will pay the $1 it'll take to claim Branyan off the wire, but I doubt it; it's not like $20,000 would've scared off potential suitors. He's probably going to clear waivers, and I'm going to sit here all confused - not because I don't know the reasons why everyone passed on Branyan, but because I don't know why those reasons are still considered so important.