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Rays acquire Marc Krauss, demote Nick Franklin

Krauss can fill the void at first base at no cost to the Rays.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With utility infielder Nick Franklin unable to get his game on track since returning from a severe oblique strain, the Tampa Bay Rays have acquired left-handed-hitting first baseman/outfielder Marc Krauss from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Kyle Winkler, an organizational filler in Triple-A Durham.

In turn, Franklin has been demoted to Triple-A, having hit a mere .139/.205/.250 in 78 plate appearances. Krauss will be active for Friday night's game.

Krauss, now age 27, has spent parts of three seasons in the majors with the Angels (2015) and Houston Astros (2013-14), batting a combined .194 (69-for-355) with 11 home runs and 39 RBI. This May, he appeared in 11 games during a two-week stay with the Angels, and hit a home run off R.A. Dickey on May 21 at Toronto.

The former Diamondbacks second round draft choice from 2009 has hit well at every stop in the minor leagues, but hasn't put up the power numbers you might have expected. He knocked 29 homers in 2010 between rookie ball and High-A, and combine for 36 in Double-A between 2011 and 2012, but put up just 14 and 11 across all levels in in the following two seasons as he started to taste major league ball.

In 195 PA in Triple-A this season, Krauss has a .349 wOBA and 139 wRC+, which is nice, but ZiPS projects him to .274 wOBA and 77 wRC+ in the majors.

For his part, Krauss is a big man, about the same height as James Loney and a bit heavier.

His size should help him cover first base well enough in the absence of Loney (broken finger), and allow Jake Elmore to play a more true utility role. Krauss had previously cleared waivers on May 31.

The opportunity cost here is that Rays fans will need to wait a bit longer to see former first round choice Richie Shaffer reach the show. Having a break out year between Double- and Triple-A for the Rays, Shaffer was recently named to the Futures Game alongside RHP Blake Snell for this year's All Star Game festivities.


Mandatory Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports