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Colabello claimed off waivers, heading to Jays

Twins set at first base with Mauer, at DH with Vargas

SAN DIEGO -- The Twins' first move of the Winter Meetings was a subtraction instead of an addition, as first baseman Chris Colabello was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays on Monday. The move opens up a roster spot for Minnesota, which now has 39 players on its 40-man roster.

Colabello, 31, hit .229/.282/.380 with six homers, 13 doubles and 39 RBIs in 59 games with the Twins last season. He started off the year hot with an impressive April, but cooled down, and wasn't called back up to the Majors after being optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 9.

With Joe Mauer entrenched at first base, Colabello became expendable with the emergence of Kennys Vargas, who had a solid rookie season and is expected to be the club's everyday designated hitter next season. Colabello made 19 appearances in right field last season to try to add to his versatility, but is better suited at first base, given his lack of range in the outfield.

"I'm excited that somebody else is happy to give me an opportunity, and I'm happy to contribute in any way I can," Colabello said. "I'm thankful to the Twins for the opportunity they gave me in the past, and I'm looking forward to a new beginning."

Colabello made his Major League debut in 2013 just one year after signing with the Twins after playing in the independent Canadian-American League for seven years.

Colabello has had plenty of success in the Minors, as he's a career .319/.393/.574 hitter with 34 homers, 38 doubles and 114 RBIs in 150 games at Triple-A. But it hasn't translated to the Majors, as he's hit .214/.284/.364 with 13 homers, 16 doubles and 56 RBIs in 114 career games.

Colabello, though, had a memorable April that saw him hit .295/.343/.484 with 27 RBIs in 24 games with the Twins. He also dealt with a bone bruise in his right thumb sustained in late April that bothered him throughout the season and caused him to skip winter ball this offseason.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
Read More: Minnesota Twins, Chris Colabello