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Indians Claim Russ Canzler off Waivers, Designate Jeanmar Gomez for Assignment

 

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Less than a month after the Cleveland Indians designated infielder Russ Canzler for assignment, they have reclaimed him off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and added him to their 40-man roster. To make room for Canzler, the Indians have designated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez for assignment, seemingly ending his tenure with the ball club after three seasons of sporadic appearances in their starting rotation. Canzler can play first base and can be used in the outfield as well, but the Indians will likely use him as their designated hitter provided that he comes to camp ready to go. Last season, the Tribe gave Canzler a shot in September and he responded by hitting .269 (25-for-93) with 3 home runs, 3 doubles and 11 RBIs in 26 games. Canzler spent the rest of the season with Triple-A Columbus where he hit .265 with 22 home runs, 36 doubles, 3 triples and 79 RBIs.

Gomez began the 2012 season as the number five man in the Tribe’s rotation thanks to a tremendous showing during spring training. Once the season got underway though, Gomez struggled and was sent to Columbus on June 24 after going 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA over the course of six consecutive starts. With the addition of Brett Myers, the Indians don’t need the services of Gomez for 2013, and by designating him for assignment, it gives the youngster the opportunity to go elsewhere should he decline to accept a minor-league assignment with the Indians. The signing of Canzler seems to shut the door on the possibility that the Indians would try to bring back Travis Hafner with an incentive-laden contract for the 2013 season. The possibility looked fairly high before this signing as the Indians’ in-house options to fill the vacant DH role were few-and-far-between, but it is not likely that the Indians will take the chance that Hafner will miss a large chunk of time again this year now that they have a younger, healthier option that is likely to give them 150 plus games and can also play in the field during interleague play.

 

 

By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent

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