Twins claim slugger Cron from Rays

November 26th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins filled a major need after the retirement of first baseman Joe Mauer by claiming power-hitting first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers from the Rays on Monday.
Cron was designated for assignment by Tampa Bay on Tuesday despite hitting a career-high 30 homers in 2018. Cron, 28, batted .253/.323/.493 with 28 doubles and 74 RBIs in a career-best 140 games. His defense rated as average, according to advanced metrics, and he posted 2.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to
Cron is expected to split time at first base and designated hitter with , who was acquired from the Yankees for at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Austin, 27, hit a combined 17 homers in 69 games with New York and Minnesota last year. He batted .236/.294/.488 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 35 games with the Twins after the trade.
Both Cron and Austin are right-handed hitters and fare better against lefties, so it won't be a platoon situation, but the Twins don't have a full-time DH, so there is the potential for playing time for both if the club doesn't sign a DH this offseason.
Cron has played parts of five seasons with the Angels and Rays, hitting .260/.311/.461 with 89 homers, 96 doubles and 287 RBIs in 548 games.
Minnesota now has 39 players on its 40-man roster.