12/9 Cubs claim Jeff Bianchi

The Cubs claimed infielder Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Royals on Friday. With the move, the 40-man roster now stands at 36. Bianchi, 25, is a career .281 hitter with 116 doubles, 31 home runs, 251 RBIs and 76 stolen bases in 490 games covering six Minor League seasons.  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).

Originally selected in the second round of the 2005 Draft, he earned Frank White Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008 as the best defender in the Royals system. In 2009, he combined for a .308 batting average between Class A and Double-A, but missed all of 2010 because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Last season, he batted .259 with 23 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 63 runs scored and 48 RBIs in 119 games.

– Carrie Muskat

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