The Texas Rangers have claimed Alex Castellanos, a 27 year old outfielder who also has some experience in the infield, off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox.
Castellanos has had an interesting journey to Texas. He was a 10th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2008 draft (going two picks after the Rangers selected righthander Kevin Castner out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo), then was traded to the Dodgers on July 31, 2011, for Rafael Furcal. The Dodgers then traded him to the BoSox in October of this year (after he'd been DFA'd to make room for a waiver claim) for Jeremy Hazelbaker. When the Red Sox re-signed Mike Napoli, they needed a 40 man roster spot, so Castellanos was designated for assignment to make room for Napoli.
Castellanos looked pretty interesting when he was dealt for Furcal in 2011...he had a .319/.379/.562 slash line in AA before the deal, and after the trade, he had a .322/.406/.603 line for the Dodgers' AA affiliate. After playing the infield when he was first drafted, he moved to the outfield in 2010, and spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons mostly in corner outfield spots. The Dodgers looked to convert him back to the infield in 2012, and he split the season between 2B and 3B, but the switch apparently didn't take, as he moved back to the outfield in 2013.
Castellanos had a .328/.420/.590 slash line in AAA Albuquerque in 2012...the PCL is a hitter's league, and Albuquerque is a hitter's park, but still, that's pretty nice. He slumped to .257/.347/.468 last year, however, and a corner outfielder who puts up an 818 OPS as a 26 year old in Albuquerque isn't going to have a ton of value. Which explains why he's been DFA'd twice in the last three months.
My guess is this is a guy who the Rangers are looking to grab to help them with depth in AAA, and I'll be interested in seeing if the Rangers look to get him some reps in the infield this spring, with an eye towards him being a potential bench bat at some point in 2014 who could fill in at multiple positions. I mentioned on Twitter I thought he might have some upside as a Jeff Baker type, but Castellanos has had pretty severe reverse splits in AAA the past two seasons, and if he doesn't hit lefties, his usefulness diminishes quite a bit.
Castellanos appears to have one option remaining, which means that the Rangers can stash him in AAA in 2014 while shuttling him between the majors and minors as they deem necessary without worrying about losing him on waivers. The Rangers' 40 man roster is currently full, and they have at least one more player -- Shin-Soo Choo -- they will be adding to the 40 man roster this offseason. Given that they are still looking for a DH option and possibly another pitcher or two, Castellanos could end up back on the waiver wire before spring training. However, the Rangers also currently have Chaz Roe, Rafael Ortega, Chris McGuiness, and Shawn Tolleson on the 40 man roster currently, so there may be a few guys ahead of Castellanos on the chopping block, when it comes time to open up a 40 man spot.