M’s Sign Brad Nelson
Well, today, the M’s signed Nelson to a minor league contract. He was DFA’d by the Brewers after starting the season 0-21 with 9 strikeouts – the Brewers wanted to give his roster spot to top prospect Mat Gamel, and Nelson didn’t have much of a future in Milwaukee with Prince Fielder around. He cleared waivers, declined his assignment to Triple-A and became a free agent. He reunites with Jack Zduriencik, the guy who originally drafted him, and has latched on to a team that could use some left-handed power.
The only problem is where on earth is he going to play. Tacoma currently has Clement, Carp, Shelton, and LaHair on the roster – Shelton is playing third base and LaHair is playing the outfield in order to get everyone in the line-up. I guess they could stick Nelson out in the outfield as well, with Saunders sliding over to center field, but that’s not really an ideal solution. There’s no easy way to find playing time for five 1B/DH types in Triple-A at the same time.
Simultaneously, Russell Branyan is making the M’s look like geniuses for giving him a full time job, so unless he’s traded before the deadline, first base isn’t really an open position on the team. Yea, there might be some DH at-bats available if Junior doesn’t find his power stroke again soon, but Clement’s probably first in line for those.
I like Brad Nelson, and I think he’s still got a shot at being a pretty useful major league player. I’m just not sure that the M’s were the best fit for him.