Cubs Claim Infielder Jeff Bianchi Off Waivers from Kansas City

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today claimed infielder Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 36 players.

Bianchi, 25, is a career .281 hitter (516-for-1,838) with 116 doubles, 31 home runs, 251 RBI and 76 stolen bases in 490 games covering six minor league seasons in the Royals organization. He completed his first full season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2011. The right-handed batter and thrower has played shortstop (288 games) and second base (145 games) in his professional career.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Bianchi was originally selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2005 June Draft. He earned Frank White Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008 as the best defender in the Royals system and combined for a .308 batting average between Single-A and Double-A in 2009, the third-best mark in the Royals system, before missing the entire 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

In his return from injury, Bianchi batted .259 (115-for-444) with 23 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 63 runs scored and 48 RBI in 119 games last season.