A few things I missed over the afternoon...
Russell Branyan has rejected a one-year offer from the , a one-year offer that, via Larry Stone, included a 2011 option. Branyan says that, while he'd love to stay in Seattle, he's holding out for a multiyear deal that gives him some semblance of stability, a goal that makes a lot of sense when you consider that he and his wife just had another kid. He's tired of moving around.
I feel for him. Branyan's never deserved to be the nomad sort, and after a career year, this is as good a time as any for him to sell himself as more than a one-year solution. Unfortunately, though, Branyan's a guy who's never drawn a big offer, settling with the Mariners last winter for $1.4m/1yr, and while you'd think the 31 homers would bump up his value, those were largely offset by his back trouble, which threatens to linger for the rest of his days. If Branyan had stayed healthy all season, he'd probably be looking at at least, I dunno, $12m/2yr. But he missed a quarter of the team's games with his injury and at 34, with that back, 2+ years just isn't very likely.
I'd expect Branyan to re-sign with the Mariners. I wouldn't, however, expect him to return on a guaranteed multiyear deal. 2010 with a 2011 option that vests with a certain number of plate appearances is probably the best he'll be able to do.
- From the same Pravda article, Jack Wilson has rejected the Mariners' initial multiyear offer. Anybody that listened to Jack and Tony talk after the Wilson acquisition knows that the organization absolutely loves him and would be delighted to have him stick around for another few years, but apparently it's going to take a little more than was offered. Which, hey, this is how negotiations work. The guy who goes in and proposes what he considers the most fair deal first is the guy who never gets a fair deal. I'd expect this one to end up somewhere around where Branyan would've wound up were it not for the bad back.
- Shannon Drayer has a post up detailing a conversation she had with Alan Nero, Felix's agent. We've all been freaking out about the lack of communication between parties, but reading Nero's quotes is reassuring - he continues to emphasize that there's no hurry, and that there isn't any writing on the wall for the rest of us to interpret. The organization has assured Nero that it will put something together, and though Felix may prefer a little more of a hands-on approach, Felix has put his trust in his agent and has admitted as much, meaning the lack of dialogue so far may not actually hurt us at all.
These quotes from Nero and Zduriencik over the past few days have breathed new life into my optimism that something's going to get done. There's obviously a little more urgency here than Nero is going to let on, but with Felix's side being willing and Z sounding determined, this should be doable. Six years, and figure out the money. It really is as simple as that.