As the reporting date for position players nears, a couple of the bigger names left on the free agent board appear ready to come in from the cold.
Free agent -- and former Cardinals infielder -- Russell Branyan will sign a $2-million contract with the Indians, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
Branyan hit 31 homers for Seattle last year. But in a down market he was unable to turn that into a multi-year contract. Instead, Branyan will hope to get enough playing time to make an extra $1 million in incentives and to compel the Indians to pick up a $5 million option for 2011.
Meanwhile, former Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty and the Reds are waiting to hear back from Jonny Gomes about an offered minor league contract.
Gomes hit 20 homers with a .267 batting average last season in Cincinnati. But he hasn't seemed to be able to drum up any interest on the open market. According to Jocketty, Gomes is taking one last run at a better deal before signing on the dotted line with the Reds.
Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he expects Gomes to make up his mind by Sunday.
An argument could be made that either player might have made a nice, low cost impact from the Cardinals bench...