2009–2010 Free Agency
"'I really loved it ,' Branyan said by telephone from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he's visiting friends and working out. 'I really had a great time. It was a great situation there. I really felt comfortable. I would have loved to come back, but right now it doesn't look like that's going to happen.'"— The Seattle Times: January 13, 2010
On November 5, 2009, it was reported that Branyan had shown interest in returning for the Mariners in 2010. There was no comment from Mariners' general manager Jack Zduriencik, but on the possible return, Branyan said:
|“||I talked briefly with Jack at the end of the season, and he knows how passionate I am about going back to Seattle. Now, it's a matter of getting on the phone and figuring out what we can do to get me back in a Seattle uniform.||”|
—Russell Branyan, mariners.com: November 5, 2009.
Branyan rejected a one-year offer from the Mariners on November 10. He stated that the reason for the decline was because he wanted a contract that lasted for more than one year, possibly a two or three-year contract. Branyan also stated that he still wanted to return to Seattle, but would rather test the free agent market than settle for anything less than a two-year contract. On January 7, 2010, the Seattle Mariners traded infielder Bill Hall for first baseman Casey Kotchman. For Branyan, this meant it was unlikely the Mariners would offer him a new contract as Kotchman would be the likely candidate for the starting job at first base, vacated by Branyan. On February 2, 2010, ESPN.com reported that the Florida Marlins had offered a one-year contract to Branyan. On February 5, a conflicting report stated that the Marlins had not offered Branyan a contract. On February 9, Foxsports.com reported that Branyan has drawn interest from both the Cleveland Indians, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Joe Frisaro, writer for MLB.com, reported on February 13, that the Marlins were not interested in signing Branyan. It was reported by Foxsports.com on February 16, that the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, and the Cleveland Indians were interested in signing Branyan. That day, the Indians offered Branyan a one-year major league contract, according to MLB.com. On February 17, it was reported by Foxsports.com that the Red Sox were no longer interested in Branyan.
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