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Vargas claimed off waivers by Reds

Twins had DFA'd 1st baseman after acquiring outfielder Cave from Yanks
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins lost first baseman Kennys Vargas off waivers to the Reds on Thursday after he was designated for assignment last Friday when Minnesota acquired outfielder Jake Cave in a trade with the Yankees.

Vargas, who came into camp competing for the designated hitter role, was the victim of a roster crunch after the Twins signed fellow first baseman/DH Logan Morrison to a one-year, $6.5 million deal during Spring Training. Vargas will head to Cincinnati, where he'd be a backup to superstar first baseman Joey Votto and likely be relegated mostly to pinch-hit duties. Vargas, though, remains a strong candidate to be placed on waivers again by the Reds in hopes he clears.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins lost first baseman Kennys Vargas off waivers to the Reds on Thursday after he was designated for assignment last Friday when Minnesota acquired outfielder Jake Cave in a trade with the Yankees.

Vargas, who came into camp competing for the designated hitter role, was the victim of a roster crunch after the Twins signed fellow first baseman/DH Logan Morrison to a one-year, $6.5 million deal during Spring Training. Vargas will head to Cincinnati, where he'd be a backup to superstar first baseman Joey Votto and likely be relegated mostly to pinch-hit duties. Vargas, though, remains a strong candidate to be placed on waivers again by the Reds in hopes he clears.

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Vargas, 27, played four seasons with the Twins, hitting .252/.311/.437 with 35 homers and 116 RBIs in 236 games. He played 78 games last season, batting .253/.314/.444 with a career-high 11 homers, 13 doubles and 41 RBIs.

The switch-hitting Vargas didn't get many runs of consistent playing time with Minnesota, and he said earlier this spring he simply wanted a chance to play everyday somewhere, which makes it surprising that he was claimed by a National League team with a star first baseman. The Tigers, Giants, Phillies and White Sox passed on Vargas before he was claimed.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Camp battles
• Right-hander Phil Hughes solidified his roster spot with a strong outing against the Yankees in Thursday's 2-1 loss, but it'll be in long relief initially. He gave up a run on a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the second, but he struck out four and was otherwise solid. Hughes will open in the bullpen, but he could move to the rotation once Minnesota needs a fifth starter on April 11.

Video: NYY@MIN: Hughes discusses his outing vs. Yankees

• Lefty Gabriel Moya continued his impressive spring with a scoreless inning against the Yankees, lowering his ERA to 0.90. But he could be the odd man out, as the bullpen competition is between him and Rule 5 right-hander Tyler Kinley. Kinley must stay on the 25-man roster or be offered to the Marlins, which gives him an advantage over Moya.

Injury updates
The Twins continue to be cautious with left fielder Eddie Rosario, who strained his right triceps early in camp. He played left field without any issues on Wednesday, and he'll be back in left on Friday. Minnesota will keep two extra outfielders on the roster -- expected to be Robbie Grossman and Zack Granite -- as insurance as Rosario continues to heal

Up next
Right-hander Lance Lynn will make his second Grapefruit League start with the Twins on Friday against the Astros at 12:05 p.m. CT. Lynn threw a Minor League game on Saturday, and there are no concerns about him being ready for the start of the season despite signing in Spring Training. Other relievers scheduled to see action include Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers and Tyler Kinley. Watch the game on MLB.TV.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Kennys Vargas