The Phillies have claimed infielder/outfielder Richie Shaffer off waivers from the Mariners, per a club announcement. Additionally, the team announced that righty Phil Klein was released in order for him to sign a contract to play with an organization in Asia.
Philadelphia announced Shaffer as a third baseman, perhaps suggesting that’s where they see him being utilized — though, of course, that position will almost certainly be manned regularly by Maikel Franco. Shaffer can also play the corner outfield or first base.
The 25-year-old Shaffer, a former first-round pick, bounced from the Rays to the Mariners earlier this offseason. He was riding high after a big 2015 season in which he hit 30 total long balls between the upper minors and the majors (where he received his first, brief look). But he largely struggled in the campaign that just ended, posting a meager .227/.329/.367 batting line at the Triple-A level and earning only twenty games in the bigs. Those struggles made him expendable, but the Phils evidently see enough upside to take a chance with a 40-man spot — though the team could ultimately attempt to sneak him through waivers at some point.
Klein, 27, also landed in Philadelphia through a waiver claim — in his case, from the Rangers. He did not pitch particularly well in his four appearances late in 2016 for the Phils, and owns only a 5.50 ERA over his 55 2/3 total major league innings. But Klein has carried impressive strikeout numbers and posted dominant results in the upper minors, which surely lent to his appeal to ballclubs on the other side of the Pacific. It is not yet clear just where Klein is headed.