The Diamondbacks claimed Cardinals outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker off waivers on Friday, marking GM Mike Hazen’s first player pickup of the offseason since assuming his position within the organization in mid-October (per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
Hazelbaker made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2016, hitting at a blistering pace with a .394/.421/.818 batting line and three home runs through his first two weeks with the team. He cooled considerably through the rest of the season, finishing the year with a modest .235/.295/.480 batting line and 12 homers in 224 PA.
In 114 games with the Cardinals, the 28-year-old split 73 games between left and center field and took on occasional pinch-hit duties. He will likely be in the mix for a spot in the Diamondbacks’ outfield in 2017, but will face stiff competition with the return of outfielders A.J. Pollock and David Peralta. If the club doesn’t see him in a starting role, Hazelbaker should give newly-signed skipper Torey Lovullo some depth in left and a potential power bat off the bench, provided that he can once again learn how to solve major league pitching.