The Yankees have added another option for outfield depth in 2013, claiming Russ Canzler off waivers from Cleveland.
Canzler, a 30th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2004 draft out of Hazleton (Pa.) High, has spent most of the last nine years in the minor leagues. He’s played some first, third and the corner outfield spots.
He’s a .278 hitter with 106 home runs, 208 doubles and 484 RBI in 3,356 minor league plate appearances. Canzler played in three games with Tampa Bay in 2011 and hit .269 with three home runs and 11 RBI over 97 plate appearances for the Indians in 2012.
In 130 games with Triple-A Columbus (Ohio) last season, Canzler hit .265 with 22 home runs and 79 RBI. He had a fine year at Triple-A Durham in 2011 (.314, 18, 83) and also in 2010 with Double-A Tennessee (.287, 21, 66).
Canzler hasn’t shown all that much in his brief major league career, but he is a right-handed hitting and throwing outfielder, which is really the last thing on the Yankees’ shopping list this offseason. He’s a longshot to make the opening day roster, especially with Matt Diaz invited on a minor league deal, but Canzler adds a bit more fuel to the competition. With his versatility at third and first and in the outfield, he could help fill out the bench until Alex Rodriguez returns in midseason.
(Update, 5:12 p.m.): To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment. The 30-year-old Dickerson had appeared in 85 games for the Yankees over the last two seasons, hitting .266 in 72 plate appearances. He was mostly used as a pinch-runner and a late-inning defensive replacement. I think Canzler at least adds a bit more offensive upside, although Canzler probably can’t play center field at the major league level, as Dickerson was able to do.
A few other pieces of note for the baseball fans out there.
SB Nation had an interesting (read: fabricated yet hilarious) oral history of Nick Punto’s lifelong penchant for sliding into first base. Click here to read.
Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus took a look at how fans of 29 teams tried to make trade proposals for Miami’s Mike Stanton, who is nominally on the trade block. Many forehead-slapping, d’oh! moments in that one. Click here to read it.
If you liked that BP piece, you’ll probably get a kick out of the WFAN trades Twitter account: @WFANTrades.
Over at CBS Sports, Dayn Perry took a look at the best players who aren’t in the hall of fame, position-by-position. It’s an fun read.
Your thoughts on the Canzler move? Any other baseball opinions? Let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.