In another low-risk move similar to the signing of former Atlanta Brave Matt Diaz, the Yankees claimed journeyman Russ Canzler off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians Friday afternoon. In lieu of this move, the Yankees designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment. If the Yankees aren't capable of finding a partner in a trade for Dickerson, he will have the opportunity to hit the free agent wire and sign with another team.
A native of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Canzler was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2004 MLB Draft. A 30th round pick, Canzler would bounce around in the Cubs organization until the 2010 season. In 2011, he signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and would earn his first trip to the majors in September of that season. Between his time with the Rays and his 2012 season with the Cleveland Indians, Canzler has appeared in a total of 29 major-league games.
In 95 plate appearances last season with the Indians big club, Canzler batted .269 with three home-runs and 11 RBIs. His appearances were split almost evenly at playing first base and in the outfield. A right-handed hitter, Canzler has a legitimate opportunity at being the fourth man in a predominantly left-handed Yankees outfield.
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