Shaffer, 25, was designated for assignment on Dec. 7 after being acquired from Tampa Bay in a 5-player trade on Nov. 18. He appeared in 20 games over three stints with Tampa Bay in 2016 (8/3-10, 8/20-24 & 9/6-end of season). Overall he hit .250 (12x48) with 5 runs scored, 6 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBI and 5 walks, while appearing in games at first base, third base and designated hitter. The 6-foot-3, right-handed batter spent the majority of the season with AAA Durham in the International League, batting .227 (97x428) with 49 runs scored, 27 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 65 walks and 4 stolen bases in 119 games. Shaffer was recently rated by Baseball America as the Best Infield Arm in the Rays organization following the 2016.
Shaffer was selected by Tampa in the first round (25th overall) in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Clemson University. He was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 25th round in the 2009 draft out of Providence (Charlotte, NC) High School, but did not sign. He made his Major League debut with the Rays in 2015 and appeared in 31 games at 4 different positions (1B, 3B, RF, DH) during his rookie campaign. Shaffer recorded his first career hit, a solo home run, in his second career start on August 4, 2015 at Chicago-AL off Daniel Webb. Over 5 seasons in the minor leagues with the Rays, Shaffer hit .246 (452x1834) with 251 runs scored, 120 doubles, 8 triples, 71 home runs, 283 RBI, 226 walks and 18 stolen bases in 501 games. He was named the Rays Minor League Player of the Year following the 2015 season after leading all Rays minor leaguers with 26 home runs and tying for 2nd with 72 RBI between AA Montgomery and AAA Durham. He also started at third base and hit cleanup for the U.S. team in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.