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Francisco Cruceta

Update: here's a link, complete with a brief article that was evidently written by someone who's new to reporting baseball statistics.

Via Adam Morris - who got it from Jamey Newberg - we learn that the Rangers have claimed Francisco Cruceta off waivers. I'm not sure what they intend to do with him once he arrives, but something tells me his flyball tendencies are going to get him brutalized in that ballpark.

So, yeah. I'm not the world's biggest Cruceta fan, but I thought he had a lot of upside as a power reliever to handle seventh/eighth innings down the road. He was out of options (which is what ultimately doomed his career in Seattle), but with so many talented arms hanging around the bullpen, it looked like there could've been an opening for him to get his feet wet in low-leverage middle relief next year. Guess not.

This isn't a major loss, in that it doesn't directly affect the Mariners' long-term outlook, but at the very least it does take away what looked to be one of our more desirable trading chips this offseason, assuming the front office was insistent on letting him go. The organization may not have thought much of Cruceta, but that doesn't mean someone else wouldn't have given up something of value in return for a package including the 2006 PCL leader in strikeouts. Alas, it wasn't to be. I suppose this means Jeremy Reed vaults to the top of the list of "players most likely to be dealt elsewhere in the next three months."

The 40-man roster still needs to clear four spots to accomodate the guys coming off the 60-day DL, but two of those currently belong to Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro. I wouldn't be surprised if Jesse Foppert and Clint Nageotte were the other two, although there are a handful of players who're hanging on by a thread. Expect some more moves in the near future as the front office makes room for free agents and minor leaguers who need to be protected.