The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Friday, January 4, 2013 Yanks claim versatile Canzler off waivers

The Yankees added an option for their bench Friday, claiming utility man Russ Canzler off waivers from the Indians.

The 26-year-old appeared in 26 games for the Indians as a September callup last year, batting .269 (25-for-93) with three home runs and 11 RBIs.

A right-handed hitter, Canzler could give Yankees manager Joe Girardi some flexibility as a backup first baseman who can also play left field and serve as a designated hitter.

Last season, he made 24 starts—11 in the outfield, seven at first base and six as a DH—and hit safely in 15 of those games.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment.

It is a shame to lose Dickerson, who had some real talent (and did actually quite well in limited duty for the Yanks last season), but the Yankees really needed to add a right handed bat. While it is unlikely, hopefully Dickerson somehow makes it through waivers and accepts a demotion to the minors. Well, hopefully for the Yankees,of course, as obviously for Dickerson’s sake he’s better off getting picked up by a team that will play him, so the odds are extremely limited that he actually sticks with the Yankees (as j correctly notes in the comments, even if he clears waivers he can refuse an assignment to the minors).

One of the best aspects of this pick-up is that Canzler still has an option left, so the Yankees can send him to the minors if they end up picking up another right hand bat. The Yankees appear interested in trying to see if Canzler can play third. If he could play third, he’d almost definitely make the Opening Day roster and this would be a really good pick-up.

It is kind of amusing to see the Indians getting Swisher on a big deal while the Yankees get the Indians’ cast-off. Reversal of fortune!

--Posted at 11:50 pm by Brian Cronin / 8 Comments | - (0)


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Dickerson can refuse assignment to AAA even if he clears. Best case scenario we work out a trade.

I’d be happy with the team if Berserkman and Harebrain were added.  It’s all about making me happy.  Accordingly, neither will be signed.

Berkman to Texas

Eli Whiteside now available again.  Pounce Cash.

I wonder whether replacing Dickerson with Ganzler really makes the outfield stronger.  After all, Ganzler will have to face some right-handed pitchers.  Dickerson is probably a better hitter, fielder, and base-runner.  I’m not sure the outfield is better for this signing. 

Ganzler has two advantages: he has options left, and he can play 3B.  So I think signing him is a good decision.  However, I wonder in general whether teams try too hard to get someone who bats from a certain side of the plate, as opposed to getting the best player.  I bet this is something SG could model…

The way I see it, outfield-wise, the Yankees were always planning on replacing Dickerson with a righthanded bat this offseason (whether right or wrong). It is, indeed, unlikely that Canzler is that guy, but unlike Dickerson, there is a chance that Canzler can make the team as an infielder. If Canzler can seriously play third, he’s an excellent fit as the Yankees really did not have anyone of his talents available who could play third and first (Canzler apparently can even theoretically play second, although I seriously doubt it).

So if you’re thinking about it as Dickerson versus Canzler as an outfielder, I agree, Dickerson is the better choice, regardless of what side of the plate he bats. But Dickerson as an outfielder versus Canzler as a third baseman who can also play the outfield, then Canzler I think wins hands down.

Berkman now makes it THREE players that Texas signed that I think would have worked perfectly for the Yankees. Although I’ll admit I was a bit surprised that Berkman got $10 million when I don’t know if he’s even a good bet to play the whole season. He’s good enough that I would have loved for the Yankees to go after him (power hitter who is available for just a season) but the knee stuff is a big enough of a worry that I don’t think I’d go to $10 million, so it is fair enough that they passed.

I bet this is something SG could model…

SG is giving us the silent treatment in retaliation for Wednesday’s pity post.

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