This week saw The Milwaukee Brewers drop former first baseman prospect Brad Nelson in favor of uber prospect Mat Gamel. Why is this so important? Well, because the Seattle Mariners front office picked up Brad Nelson pretty quickly.
You might be thinking that we do not need any more first base (or yikes…outfield?) “prospects” sitting in AAA. Chris Shelton, Brian LeHair, Mike Carp, and now Jeff Clement are already manning that bag in Tacoma among the left field and designated hitter positions.
So what does Brad Nelson mean to the organization? Depth.
Teams really cannot have to much depth. Lets say the Mariners are sitting out of it in July and some team loses their first baseman to a long-term injury (New York Mets anyone, Delgado is hurt!) Russell Branyan and his .309 batting average, 1.015 OPS, even .427 OBA are looking more than amazing for his tiny salary. Maybe we can acquire a piece for our run in 2010 and beyond?
Thank goodness we have five players to replace him and while they might not dominate quite as much as Russell the muscle, they will fill in better than Miguel Cairo did last year (we really did that?).
I like these types of deals; we get a player with value for free because of circumstance. He may do well; he may not. His minor league track record shows hints of power, a good amount of patience, and a left handed bat to boot.
With players like this, we can run in 2010 and 2011 with more depth, and we will not be one of those teams hampered by those pesky injuries, wondering what could have been if player "x" hadn’t gone down.