The Minnesota Twins have filled one of their two holes between first base and DH, as they’ve claimed C.J. Cron off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
An added bonus is that Cron hits right-handed — a side the Twins have lacked consistent power from outside of Miguel Sano since Josh Willingham departed.
The #MNTwins claimed 1B C.J. Cron off waivers from Tampa Bay.
Cron played in 140 games for the Rays last season, hitting .253 (127-for-501) with 28 doubles, 30 home runs, 74 RBI and a .323 on-base percentage.#MNTwins roster at 39
— Dustin Morse (@morsecode) November 26, 2018
The Rays designated Cron for assignment on Nov. 20, in advance of finalizing 40-man roster additions in advance of the Rule 5 draft, which will be held at next month’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
Cron, who turns 29 in January, hit .253/.323/.493 in 140 games with Tampa Bay last season, his first year with the club after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels traded Cron to the Rays on Feb. 17 of this year for a player to be named later; infielder Luis Rengifo — who hit .299/.399/.452 between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 590 plate appearances last season — was ultimately the player sent over by Tampa Bay.
Now the Twins get Cron basically for free.
Cron got off to an especially slow start with the Rays last year, hitting just .232/.279/.393 through his first 15 games before heating up a bit. Still, at the end of June, Cron was hitting just .233/.310/.435 before he went on a tear the rest of the way.
From July 1 on, Cron hit .282/.342/.574 with 14 homers (36 homers in 162-game pace), 17 doubles (44), 36 RBIs (92) and 28 runs scored (71).
Cron made $2.3 million last year, and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $5.2 million in his second year of arbitration. He is under club control through the 2020 season.
The 40-man roster for the Twins is now at 39.