It's nearly Thanksgiving, and free agent Russell Branyan says his heart remains in Seattle.
If he doesn't hear more from the Mariners before Christmas, however, his body - and his bat - are likly to wind up elsewhere.
"I know they've spoken to my agent, I know they've expressed interest," Branyan said of Seattle. "I should know more in the next 7-10 days. I’m not as unsettled this year, having been through this process last year. I know signing can take time. But I'm not going to wait until February to sign a deal.
"The pereception there, you might assume people didn’t enjoy Seattle last year with all that went on. But it's a great town to play in, a great ballpark to hit in, and I think there are some good players there. There's been a lot of change with Eric Wedge and a new staff. I know that the new hitting coach, Chris Chambliss, coached in Cincinnati, and I talked to Adam Dunn. He said he loved Chambliss.
"I had a down year last season, fought through a back problem - and I still hit 25 home runs. I’d like to keep my uniform the same."
Branyan has played 173 games with Seattle in parts of the past two seasons, batting .239 with 46 home runs and 107 RBI. On a team without much power or many productive bats, Branyan remains a viable option as a designated hitter. The team could have accepted an option for 2011 at $5 million, but declined.
Branyan knows the team has a young firstbaseman in Justin Smoak, and something of a dilema at DH - will Milton Bradley stay or will the team eat the $12.5 million it owes him? Branyan suspects general manager Jack Zduriencik has a lot on his plate.
"I really like Seattle. I don’t want to explore too deeply somewhere else until I know what they want to do," Branyan said. "I’ve got a couple of teams looking for fulltime positions that have shown interest. I'm finally healthy again.
"My family loves Seattle, but it’s a profession. I’d like to get something before Christmas. I don't have many years left," said Branyan, who will turn 35 next month. "I’d like to finish my career strong, finish it in one city, with one team."