Although the holidays usually cause the baseball world to be quiet, Monday was a busy day for seven players who switched teams on waiver claims. Here's a rundown:
The Rangers claimed outfielder Alex Castellanos off waivers from the Red Sox, according to a team announcement. Castellanos, 27, was originally acquired by Boston in late October in a trade that sent Jeremy Hazelbaker to the Dodgers, and was designated for assignment to make room for Mike Napoli on the Red Sox' 40-man roster.
In 24 major league games over the past two seasons, Castellanos has hit .171 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. The 2008 10th round pick hit .257 HR with 19 HR and 61 RBI in 105 games for Triple-A Albuquerque last season, and will likely provide outfield depth at Triple-A for the Rangers next season.
The Mets have claimed right-hander Ryan Reid off waivers from the Pirates, as we reported earlier this afternoon. Reid, 28, was designated for assignment along with Jerry Sands to make room for Clint Barmes and Edinson Volquez on the Pirates' 40-man roster.
In seven relief appearances for Pittsburgh last season, Reid pitched to a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings. He was 7-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 36 games for Triple-A Indianapolis last season after spending seven seasons in the Rays' minor league system. He could crack the Mets' big-league bullpen next year, or head to Triple-A Las Vegas.
The Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees, as we first reported earlier today. Marshall was exiled New York's 40-man roster after the team signed Carlos Beltran.
Marshall made his major league debut for the Yankees in 2013, surrendering six earned runs over 12 innings of work. The 23-year old was 7-10 with a 5.13 ERA in 25 starts for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate last season, and his age and remaining options likely make him attractive to a rebuilding team like the Cubs.
Orioles claim Liam Hendriks from Cubs
The Orioles claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks from the Cubs in a move that opens up a 40-man roster spot for Marshall, according to a team announcement. Hendriks was originally claimed from the Twins ten days ago, and now heads to his third organization of the month.
Hendriks, who turns 25 in February, is 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 games (28 starts) over the last three seasons with Minnesota. He spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Rochester, pitching to a 4-8 record and 4.67 ERA in 16 starts. He may compete for a spot in the Orioles' rotation if they do not add another arm before the start of spring training.
Rays claim Jerry Sands from Pirates
The Rays made an addition on Monday, claiming first baseman/outfielder off waivers from the Pirates, as first reported by Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. Sands was designated for assignment along with Reid last week.
Sands, 26, heads to his fourth team in the last fourteen months after stops in the Dodgers, Red Sox and Pirates organizations. He was involved in the Adrian Gonzalez-Carl Crawford-Josh Beckett blockbuster in August 2012 before being flipped to the Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan trade last winter.
In 110 games for Triple-A Indianapolis last season, Sands hit .212 with 9 HR and 37 RBI following a monster season at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2012 when he hit .296 with 26 HR and 107 RBI. In 70 career major league games, Sands is a lifetime .244 hitter with 4 HR and 27 RBI.
The White Sox claimed left-hander Eric Surkamp off waivers from the Giants, as Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported. Surkamp had been designated for assignment last week.
Surkamp made one start for the Giants in 2013, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings. He was much better for Triple-A Fresno, posting a 7-1 record and 2.80 ERA in 16 starts. For his major league career, he is 2-3 with a 7.36 ERA in 29.1 innings of work over seven starts in 2011 and 2013.
Blue Jays claim Brent Morel from White Sox
The Toronto Blue Jays claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers from the White Sox, in a move first noted by Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Morel's departure makes room for Surkamp on the White Sox' 40-man roster.
Morel seems to be the highest-profile player of the seven who switched teams on Monday after appearing in 194 major league games over the past four seasons with Chicago. He was the team's primary third baseman in 2011, hitting .245 with 10 HR and 41 RBI in 126 games that season. He has struggled at the major league level over the last two seasons, and is a career .229 hitter with 13 HR and 54 RBI. He spent 106 games with Triple-A Charlotte last year, hitting .266 with 6 HR and 54 RBI.