Hot-Stove: …Where for art thou, Russ Canzler?
Right handed 1B/OF Russ Canzler is now a Yankee. Dammit! The Rays had a pair of chances to pick him up in the last few weeks, yet they dropped the proverbial ball, ahem…twice over. Canzler, arguably, would have fit the Rays needs. He is the Rays type of guy; a utility player that could have platooned in both the infield and outfield, for James Loney and Matt Joyce respectively, while also handling DH duties from time to time. Canzler was quite possibly the right handed solution the Rays are looking for.
But I digress.
The search for a right handed power hitter continues, and here I sit on a cool Saturday morning, opining about what should have been. Grr!
Canzler was in the Rays organization for a time, signing a minor-league contract with Tampa Bay at the end of 2010. In his time with the Rays organization, Canzler posted a .314 BA/.401 OBP/.530 SLG/.931 OPS line, with 18 home runs and 83 RBI in 549 plate appearances in his 2011 stint with the Durham Bulls. Though he seemed like a promising player, the Rays DFA’d Canzler after acquiring Luke Scott and Carlos Pena. He was a masher buried on the depth chart, and Tampa Bay was short sighted in my opinion.
Nevertheless, Cleveland claimed Canzler off waivers in January of 2012 where he posted a plus .315 BABIP with a combined (between AAA and Cleveland) 25 homers. After being DFA’d by the Tribe toward the end of 2012, Canzler was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays on Dec. 21, reclaimed by the Indians on Jan. 2 and then picked up by the Yankees on Friday.
Do the Rays have another player in mind? Did they not pounce, when they had the chance, because they have something else in the works? Did Friedman and Co. not want to commit any more money until the arbitration situations with Matt Joyce, Sam Fuld, Jeff Niemann, and Ryan Roberts get sorted out? I have no clue. It’s just a shame that they let a (for lack of a better word) stud like Canzler slip away again…and again…and again.
- MLB Trade Rumors has reported that Lance Berkman is off the market, thanks to your friends, the Texas Rangers. The terms of the deal are unknown at the moment. Hmph, there’s always Jim Thome, right?