Cleveland has re-acquired infielder Russ Canzler, claiming the 26 year old off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto had originally claimed him on December 21st, shortly after the Indians designated him for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Mark Reynolds. Canzler returns to the Indians organization with this move and will receive an invitation to Spring Training.
Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez was designated for assignment to make room on the team’s 40-man roster for Canzler.
Canzler appeared in 26 games for the Indians this past season, batting .269/.299/.398 over 97 plate appearances, while seeing time at first base, left field, and at designated hitter. He also hit .265/.328/.487 with 22 HR and 79 RBI in 130 games at Triple-A. Cleveland had acquired him last January from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations, a move that was applauded at the time considering Canzler had just come off a season in which he won the International League’s MVP honors (batting .314/.401/.530 with 18 HR and 83 RBI for Triple-A Durham).
Few question marks remain on Cleveland’s roster, but there could be room for a player such as Canzler if he’s able to put up a nice showing during Spring Training. The team has added some offensive punch this winter (signing Reynolds and Nick Swisher to deals) but they have done little to upgrade their bench. Canzler may prove to be a solid pickup on their part, as he’s demonstrated an ability to handle multiple positions while offering some pop at the plate.