First baseman Russell Branyan has reached a preliminary agreement to rejoin the Cleveland Indians, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The deal is subject to a physical, the person said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract wasn’t final. Branyan’s medical exam is scheduled for Tuesday.
Originally selected by the Indians in the seventh round of the 1994 amateur draft, Branyan played for Cleveland from 1998 until he was traded to Cincinnati in June 2002 for Ben Broussard.
Now 34, he set career highs of 31 homers and 76 RBIs for Seattle last year, when he hit .251. He didn’t play after Aug. 28 because of a herniated disk in his back.
His agreement was first reported by ESPN.com.
Seattle replaced Branyan at first base by acquiring Casey Kotchman from Boston for outfielder Bill Hall and signing free agent Ryan Garko.
Branyan has a .234 average and .331 on-base percentage in 12 major league seasons with 164 homers. He hit 16 homers for the Indians in 2000 and followed with 20 the following year and 24 for Cleveland and Cincinnati in 2002.
He also played for Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, San Diego, Philadelphia and St. Louis.