Phillies general manager Matt Klentak continues to build the bench
Shortly after the news regarding Andres Blanco returning to the Phillies, infielder Richie Shaffer was claimed on waivers from the Mariners.
To make room for the newest additions, the Phillies granted pitcher Phil Klein his outright release. According to a statement from the organization, Klein intends on continuing his career overseas in Asia.
Lefty David Rollins, whom the Phillies claimed off waivers two weeks ago, has been designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
Shaffer is an interesting addition for the Phillies, and should compete for a job on the bench this year. In 2013, MLB.com ranked Shaffer the Ray’s #10 prospect as a corner infielder being taken with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
With just 50 major league games under his belt, Shaffer has a .213 batting average with five home runs. Tampa Bay traded Shaffer in a minor league swap with Seattle less than a month ago, but the Mariners moves during the Winter Meetings allowed them to waive Shaffer at little expense.
Andres Blanco’s return takes one job off the bench for Shaffer, but he could potentially be the back-up first baseman to Tommy Joseph. With Darin Ruf now in Los Angeles thanks to the Howie Kendrick trade, Shaffer could provide that depth in the majors.
Most likely though, Shaffer will spend his season in Lehigh Valley as the starting third baseman. The Iron Pigs depth chart currently lists Taylor Featherston as the lone third baseman, creating an opening for Shaffer to take the job in spring training.
Shaffer hit 25 home runs during his stint in the minors for Tampa Bay back in 2015.