Coming off the best season of his career - when he batted .251 with 31 home runs and 76 RBI and missed the final month to injury, Russell Branyan has declined Seattle's initial offer a one-year contract extension.
"Money isn't the issue," Branyan said. "I've played my whole career on one-year contracts, and that's tough. I'd like a little security. I'd like to come to spring training and know I'm part of the same team for at least the next two years."
Branyan, who'll turn 34 next month, signed a one-year deal last winter, then batted .281 with 22 home runs and 49 RBI in the first half. After the All-Star break, plagued by back problems, he hit .193 with nine home runs and 27 RBI.
So it's no suprise the Mariners are reluctant to go beyond one season for the journeyman left-handed hitter. The Mariners are Branyan's eighth team in a career that began in 1994.
"Jack Zduriencik has always been completely honest with me, and he gave me the opportunity to come to Seattle and win a job last year," Branyan said. "I appreciate that. I'm grateful for that. I'd like to play the next four, five years in Seattle - and I feel I've got better seasons ahead of me."
Branyan said discussions continue between his agent and the Mariners.
"I think it became clear my agent and Jack weren't on the same page, and in my mind it's not the money, it's the length," Branyan said. "I've got it set in my mind I want two years."
Branyan is in physical therapy three days a week, running and weight-lifting to strengthen his hips and back, and expects to be 100 per cent from the day spring training opens. He's just not sure where that will be.
"If the Mariners offer stays at one year and another team or two offers a multi-year, what would I do? I honestly don't know," Branyan said. "I love the team, the city - everything from the PR department to the media. I'd like to be part of what's going on there."