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Rangers claim Inglett off waivers

Rangers claim Inglett off waivers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have added another candidate for the utility infielder role by claiming infielder Joe Inglett off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Inglett joins Esteban German and Joaquin Arias as the current in-house candidates to fill the role that Omar Vizquel handled this past season.

"Joe is in the mix, but we'll continue to see what else is out there," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.

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The Rangers need a utility infielder who can play shortstop. Inglett has played in 202 Major League games over the past four seasons for the Indians and Blue Jays, but he has played only three games and 11 innings at shortstop.

Inglett, 31 and a left-handed hitter, has played 122 games at second base, a combined 69 games at all three outfield positions and seven at third base at the Major League level. He has also played just 48 games at shortstop over 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues.

Inglett played in 36 games overall with the Blue Jays in 2009, hitting .281 with a .347 on-base percentage and a .348 slugging percentage in 99 plate appearances. He played in 109 games and had 385 plate appearances for Toronto in '08 while filling in for Aaron Hill, hitting .291 with 45 runs scored, three home runs, 39 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

The Blue Jays used him in the leadoff spot as he has a career .349 on-base percentage with 18 stolen bases.

"Our scouts have always liked the way he has played the game," Daniels said. "He is versatile in the field and he does the little things: he runs the bases, moves the ball around and gets on base. He will get a chance to compete for a position on the club."

Inglett played 40 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last year and hit .360 in 186 plate appearances. He has a career Minor League average of .307 and a .291 Major League average.

German hit .304 with a .360 on-base percentage in 19 games for the Rangers in 2009 and .319 with a .419 on-base percentage and 35 stolen bases at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But he is also eligible for arbitration and could be a candidate to be non-tendered later this month.

Arias hit .266 with a .295 on-base percentage and 24 steals at Triple-A Oklahoma and is the best of the three candidates as far as being able to play shortstop. Arias' shoulder remains a question mark, but he is currently playing shortstop for Escondido in the Dominican Winter League.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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