russ canzler rays

Indians acquire Triple-A MVP Russ Canzler from Rays

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Russ Canzler predictably drew interest from other teams after the Rays designated him for assignment last week and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Tampa Bay has traded the Triple-A MVP to Cleveland for cash considerations.

For a brief moment early in the offseason Canzler sat atop the Rays’ first base depth chart, but then they signed Carlos Pena to play first base and later dropped Canzler from the 40-man roster to make room for Jeff Keppinger.

He certainly doesn’t project as a star, but Canzler is 25 years old and coming off back-to-back big seasons in the minors, including a .314 batting average, 18 homers, 40 doubles, and a .930 OPS at Triple-A. He could end up getting a chance at first base if the Indians don’t sign a veteran, but more likely profiles as a bench bat or platoon starter.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!