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Tampa Bay Rays claim INF Yu Chang from Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have claimed infielder Yu Chang off the waiver wire.

The Taiwan-born Chang has spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Guardians, signing as an international free agent during the Summer of 2013. During his time with that organization, he was mainstay in Baseball America’s top 30 rankings of their farm system, peaking at #6 in 2017 and 2018.

A very athletic player, Chang possesses solid speed to go with solid arm strength. He has the ability to play average defense all over the infield. His versatility, coupled with the potential for above average offensive production (career minor league .186 ISO) has made Chang an alluring asset to obtain.

However, in his brief big league tenure, Chang has struggled offensively. Over parts of four big league seasons, Chang has hit .204/.268/.359 with 11 HR over 149 games played.

The Rays will be Chang’s third organization of 2022, having started the season with Cleveland, before being designated for assignment in late May. Chang was swiftly picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but only lasted a month before being again designated for assignment on the final day of June. Overall, between those two teams, Chang has hit .135/.237/.212 over 59 plate appearances.

To clear space on the 40-man roster, the Rays have transferred Brandon Lowe to the 60-day IL. However, the Rays will still need to clear a spot, as Chang is out of options and will need to take a spot on the active roster.

Marc Topkin is reporting Chang is likely to join the Rays on Friday for their series opener in Cincinnati.