The Yankees have claimed right handed hitting outfielder Russ Canzler from the Cleveland Indians and have designated left handed hitting outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment to make room for him on the 40-man roster, according to Buster Olney of ESPN and Chad Jennings of the Journal News.
Canzler will be 27-years-old in April and he’ll be brought in to spring training to compete for a job as a backup outfielder with Matt Diaz. He has played mostly left field, but has experience at first base and right field as well. In 29 career major league games, Canzler has hit .271/.304/.396 in 97 plate appearances. In nine minor league seasons he’s hit .278/.347/.472.
Dickerson, who will be 31 in April, has a career line of .266/.352/.407 which is solid especially for a fourth outfielder, but his problem is that he’s lefty and the Yankees already have an outfield stocked with three lefty outfielders. So there really isn’t room on the team for him despite the fact that he’s a solid major leaguer who should have gotten a better chance with the Yankees.
With Diaz and Canzler both coming into camp, the Yankees will have a solid competition for their fourth outfielder position. Still, they’ll be on the look out for other options as well and would probably be willing to sign Scott Hairston if he were willing to accept a one-year deal. Depending on how the rest of the offseason works out it’s possible that one of these guys could even serve as part of a DH platoon.