The Indians announced today that they’ve claimed infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder off waivers from the Blue Jays and designated left-hander Kyle Crockett and Dylan Baker for assignment. Cleveland has also selected the contracts of right-hander Julian Merryweather and infielders Willi Castro, Yu Chang and Eric Stamets. That series of moves fills the Indians’ 40-man roster and leaves the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster at a total of 33 players.
The 26-year-old Refsnyder split the 2017 season between the Yankees (who originally drafted him in 2012) and the Blue Jays but struggled to a composite .170/.247/.216 slash line. While Refsnyder has long turned in intriguing offensive stats in the minors, he’s batted just .233/.306/.311 in 320 big league plate appearances. At one point, Yankees fans hoped that Refsnyder could hold down the team’s second base job in the Majors, but he’s now split his time fairly equally between second, first base and left field in the Majors.
Crockett, 25, was a fourth-round pick back in 2013 and was the first player from that draft class to reach the Majors, debuting in 2014. While he turned in a promising 1.80 ERA with 8.4 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 in 30 innings that season, he’s struggled to a 4.84 ERA with 8.7 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 in 35 1/3 big league innings since then. To his credit, Crockett has allowed just a minuscule three homers in 65 1/3 MLB innings and has held lefties to a .614 OPS in 167 plate appearances. Righties have knocked him around at a .280/.373/.452 clip, though.
Baker, 25, has scarcely pitched since the 2015 season due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery. The 2012 fifth-rounder has tossed just 21 1/3 innings across three levels in the past three minor league seasons combined, though he’s posted a 3.58 ERA in 241 2/3 innings in his minor league career when healthy.
Chang (No. 4), Castro (No. 9) and Merryweather (No. 12) each ranked within the Indians’ top 30 prospects, according to Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.