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Cleveland Indians claim first baseman Richie Shaffer off waivers

Jesus Aguilar designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians have claimed first baseman Richie Shaffer off waivers from the Cincinatti Reds, the team’s official insider account has confirmed.

Despite only being 25 and never taking an at-bat for any team but the Tampa Bay Rays, we could almost call Shaffer a well-traveled veteran after this offseason. Since being traded from the Rays to the Seattle Mariners on November 19, Shaffer has moved to the Philadelphia Phillies, to the Reds, and finally now to the Indians.

In 51 career games, Shaffer has slashed .213/.310/.410 with five home runs. He has shown the ability to draw walks at a double-digit throughout his minor-league career — which carried over to the majors so far — but he has also struck in a little over a third of his MLB at-bats.

In a corresponding move, the Indians also designated first baseman Jesus Aguilar for assignment. The 26-year-old minor-league slugger has never been able to translate his power to the majors; as a result he has spent the entirety of the past three seasons with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Last season with the Clippers he hit 30 home runs, but he has yet to have one leave the park in 64 career plate appearances.

Aguilar’s DFA feels like it was a long time coming, further accelerated by the Edwin Encarnacion signing. Shaffer has similar (albeit less powerful) numbers in the minors, but better defensive ability, though neither should be expected to have significant time in the majors in 2017. I would not be surprised to see another team swoop in and grab Aguilar to add to their own 40-man roster before he makes it to a permanent spot on the Clippers.