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Rays claim Brandon Allen off waivers, will join team Friday

Posted Apr 19, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM

The Rays will shuffle their roster over the next 24 hours to accommodate the return of CF B.J. Upton and make room for 1B/OF Brandon Allen, whom they claimed off waivers from the A’s.

Upton’s return from a sore lower back will end Stephen Vogt’s tour at the big leagues, since Vogt was added to the Opening Day roster after the injuries to Upton and OF Sam Fuld (wrist surgery).

C Robinson Chirinos (concussion) will be moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 25-man roster for Allen, who is out of options.

Allen’s addition will mean someone else has to go. The candidates would appear to be INF Reid Brignac or UTL Elliot Johnson.

Brignac has started five games at short. Johnson has started twice at second base.

With Upton back, Ben Zobrist will not be needed fulltime in right field, which means Zobrist returns to playing second base against right-handed pitchers. That means the Rays don’t need an extra infielder.

Johnson is out of options so he will have to clear waivers to remain in the organization. Brignac still has one option so he can go back to Durham.

The Rays will decide which player brings move value.

Also, Brignac is the better shortstop, so …

Here is the bio on Allen put out by the Rays …

Allen, who turned 26 in February, was designated for assignment on April 9 to make room for first baseman Daric Barton who was returning from the disabled list.  He was acquired by the A’s from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a deal for pitcher Brad Ziegler at last year’s trade deadline.

The left-handed hitter has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, batting .205 (68-for-331) with 11 HR, 38 RBI and 40 walks in 109 games with the Diamondbacks (2009-11) and A’s (2011-12).  He was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in three games with the A’s this season.

Over eight seasons in the minors, Allen has hit .268 with a .355 on-base percentage and 142 home runs in the Chicago White Sox, Diamondbacks and A’s organizations.  Last season he hit .299 (103-for-344) with 21 HR and 72 RBI in 93 games split between Triple-A Reno (Diamondbacks) and Triple-A Sacramento (A’s).  He was originally selected by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2004 June Draft and was dealt to Arizona on July 7, 2009 for Tony Peña.

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