The Blue Jays have claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers from the White Sox, according to Toronto's transactions page. The loss of Morel will create a 40-man roster spot for left-hander Eric Surkamp, who was claimed by the White Sox earlier this afternoon.
The 26-year-old Morel has a career .229/.276/.333 batting line in 669 Major League plate appearances with the White Sox. Heading into the 2011 season, Baseball America ranked Morel second among White Sox prospects and 85th in all of baseball, praising his quick line-drive swing and calling him an intelligent defender with a quick first step. His offense has tanked since that time, however, as he's batted just .248/.323/.373 in 608 minor league plate appearances over the past two years. A bulging disc in his back in 2012 likely played a large role in that offensive decline.
The writing was on the wall for Morel after a marginal season at the plate and Chicago's acquisition of the much younger Matt Davidson in last week's trade with the Diamondbacks.