The first actual Blue Jays news from the Winter Meetings in San Diego is that the team has claimed first basemen Chris Colabello off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The Italian-American grinded out seven years in independent ball after playing Division II college ball before eventually being signed by Minnesota in 2012.
He made his major league debut in 2013 at the ripe age of 29-years-old and played a total of 55 games during that season. This past year he saw his total number of games boosted to 59 with a slash line of .229/.282/.380 and six home runs adding up to a wRC+ of 85. With all the reporters down in San Diego, Shi Davidi was the first to grab the news although there's no word on whether Colabello would also accept the role of President with the Blue Jays:
#BlueJays claim 1B/OF Chris Colabello off waivers from #Twins— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 8, 2014
The Blue Jays had a couple spots on their 40-man roster and Colabello will make the league minimum this year, so it wasn't a horrible idea to pick him up. He hits right-handed pitchers slightly better, but there's no real platoon option and he will likely compete in Spring Training for the last spot on the bench with the big league squad.
Anthopoulos mentioned #BlueJays possibly adding someone to compete with Smoak at 1B. Colabello could be that guy. Also plays OF.— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) December 8, 2014
The power hitter was recently mentioned in a piece over at FanGraphs as a player that is an affordable power bat from the right side. With 600 plate appearances, Steamer projects Colabello to hit 20 home runs with a wRC+ of 105. Our own Minor Leaguer also wants it to be known that his name means "beautiful soda pop" in Italian. The first baseman can also play in the outfield as well, but he probably shouldn't based off his -7.8 UZR in right field over just 201 innings at that position in the major leagues. All in all, another solid move with very little downside involved.