Rays Claim Brandon Allen Off Waivers

Chris Dommermuth, CBS Tampa

The Tampa Bay Rays have claimed outfielder/first baseman Brandon Allen off waivers after he was designated for assignment Thursday to make room for first baseman Daric Barton.

Allen, who was the A’s opening day first baseman, could join the Rays by Friday’s game against the Twins. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays have placed catcher Robinson Chirinos on the 60-day DL. Chirinos has been out since suffering a concussion in Spring Training.

Allen has been a guy who can provide some power to a lineup but tends to strikeout too much to sustain a decent batting average. Over his major league career, Allen has struck out 133 time in just 374 plate appearances. He was acquired by the A’s last season in a trade that sent Brad Zielger to the Diamondbacks.

During eight seasons in the minors, Allen hit .268 with a .355 on-base percentage  and 142 home runs. Last season he hit .299 with 21 homers and 72 RBI in 93 games  for Triple-A Reno and Sacramento.

Allen will likely take rookie Stephen Vogt’s spot on the Rays roster. Vogt is hitless in 13 at-bats this season.

Injured outfielder B.J. Upton will return to the Rays Friday, after being on the DL since the start of the season with lower back pain from an in-game collision with fellow OF Desmond Jennings.

This means they’ll have to make room for one more spot on the roster. The two most likely up for demotion are infielders Reid Brignac or Elliot Johnson.

I like Brignac as a player better then Johnson, but Brignac still has minor league options left on his contract, Johnson doesn’t. If Johnson was sent down, he would be up for waivers, which means every team in the league would have a chance to claim him (similar to how Allen was brought onto the Rays roster).

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