Russell Branyan traded for Randy Johnson… Kind of (includes FLOW CHART)

Russell Branyan Photo by Icon SMI

About a week ago, on the heels of winning 6 of their last 7, a few days ago Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was quoted “I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.” Now, he has absolutely no incentive to say the opposite (“Fire Sale!” shows your hand and gives away your leverage), so it sounds like typical posturing. The Mariners are 31-43 and are 14 games back of the AL West leading Texas Rangers, and according to CoolStandings.com, they have a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoffs.

But then a funny thing happened. At a time when every Mariner fan is on their toes for the inevitable Cliff Lee trade and the bounty it will bring to Seattle, Russell Branyan, a free-agent-to-be, is headed back to Seattle in a trade for minor leaguers OF Ezequiel Carrera and SS Juan Diaz – and nobody really knows what’s going on.

Good news! I’m not going to pretend to! Instead, I will merely distract you with a little game. But it’s a fun game! Few people know, but Russell Branyan is merely a pawn in the Baseball Gods’ plan of creating the longest trade chain in the history of mankind*. At one time the Mariner subspecies was on the brink of extinction, but now its offspring have wildly reproduced and will likely live on forever. Unlike Ken Griffey Sr’s offspring. That guy’s career died years ago.

*This is not verifiable. Don’t try to verify it.

You see, former Mets farmhand Carrerra was part of the monster 3-team Jeremy Reed trade of 2008** in which Reed was sent to New York. This isn’t particularly interesting on its own. But how did Reed get to the Mariners? Well, he came from the White Sox as part of the Freddy Garcia trade of 2004… Who was part of the Randy Johnson trade of 1998…Who was part of the Mark Langston trade of 1989…Who was draft compensation for original Mariner Bill Stein leaving in free agency!

**Otherwise known as the monster 3-team J.J. Putz trade of 2008. Whoever heard of Franklin Gutierrez, anyway? Is he any good?

If you don’t know anything about Bill Stein, well, you shouldn’t. He sucked. Selected with the 5th overall pick in the 1976 expansion draft from the Chicago White Sox, Bill Stein was the Mariners first ever third baseman. And frankly, that’s all I’m going to write about his career.

But hey, look at this fun flow chart! Flow charts get instant Diggs, right? Hooray!

Editor’s Note: click on the flow chart to enlarge!

And so far, the trade is paying off as shown in the videos and links to videos below!

Branyan’s two-run homer

Branyan’s two-run single

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