MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that 1B/OF Russ Canzler is again off the market. Canzler was DFA’d by the Yankees late last week. The Orioles swooped in, claiming Canzler Tuesday, while designating Luis Martinez for assignment in return.
There has been a fair amount of internet chatter over who the Rays may have in mind to fill their 1B/OF needs. Canzler’s name was dropped here and there, but Andrew Friedman never pounced on the three (ahem, or so) opportunities to snag Canzler off the market. With Canzler’s name officially scratched off the list, part of me thinks that there could be a reasonable solution within the Rays organization; Leslie Anderson.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Leslie Anderson (along with 63 other players) received an invite to Spring Training. Anderson had a beaster of a 2012, posting a .309 BA/.355 OBP/.450 SLG/.805 OPS slash line, with 14 homers and 56 RBI. Furthermore, he put up a .325 BABIP and an 11.6% K%, while crossing the plate 63 times last season. His time in Triple-A has made a few things are glaringly obvious. When he’s not mashing the ball, Leslie Anderson puts the ball in play and gets on base. And he inevitably crosses the plate when he gets on. I thought it was foolish for Friedman and Co. to pass on Canzler time and again. However, it’d be criminal to keep Anderson locked up in Triple-A for a fourth year, especially when he seems to fit a Rays need.
Finally, the Rays have DFA’d both Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson, making room for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson on the 40-man roster. This was an expected move. Elliot Johnson posted a .242 BA/.304 OBP/.350 SLG/.654 OPS slash line, with six home runs in 331 plate appearances in 2012. Reid Brignac appeared in 16 games for the Rays last year, after spending most of the season at Triple-A. Brignac posted a lackluster .231 BA/.323 OBP/.353 SLG/.656 OPS slash line in 400 plate appearances as a middle infielder.