Angels claim lefty-swinging Krauss off waivers

Angels claim lefty-swinging Krauss off waivers

SAN DIEGO -- The Angels claimed Marc Krauss off waivers from the Astros on Monday, potentially shoring up their need for a left-handed power hitter off the bench on the first day of the Winter Meetings.

Krauss plays first base and both outfield corners, has two option years remaining and will compete for a spot on the Major League roster, where he can platoon with the right-handed-hitting C.J. Cron at designated hitter.

"I was a little surprised," Krauss said of switching teams, "but when I found out it was the Angels, I was really excited."

Krauss, 27, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds. He's "pedestrian" defensively, a scout said, but has "a good combo of power and on-base skills." A standout at Ohio University, before Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto made him a second-round pick while working in the D-backs' front office five years ago, Krauss posted a .200/.274/.341 slash line in 119 games in the big leagues from 2013-14. At the Triple-A level, he batted .289/.375/.459 in 42 games in 2014 and .281/.401/.478 in 78 games in '13.

Dipoto feels the DH spot is pretty much settled now, with Cron getting the bulk of at-bats, Krauss a potential platoon and the likes of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and perhaps even Chris Iannetta using the spot to get off their feet when needed.

"This gives us another alternative," Dipoto said of adding Krauss. "Someone who can compete for at-bats, gives us another in-season alternative."

Krauss said he's "a little more comfortable" in the outfield, but he has "gotten a lot more reps at first base" in recent years. In Spring Training, he'll compete with left-handed-hitters Efren Navarro and Roger Kieschnick and a slew of right-handed hitters -- Grant Green, Daniel Robertson and Alfredo Marte -- for a spot with the Angels, who continue to look for ways to fortify their bench.

"That's fine," Krauss said. "I understand there's a lot of talent on that roster. I don't expect just to make that team out of Spring Training. Hopefully, I'll perform well and I'll do everything I can to prove I deserve that spot. I'm ready. Competition always brings out the best in me, hopefully, and I'm just going to train hard in the offseason like I always do."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.