Blue Jays claim outfielder Casper Wells from Mariners
The Blue Jays have claimed outfielder Casper Wells from the Seattle Mariners. The move was confirmed by the M's late this morning on the west coast and was first reported by Peter Gammons of MLB.com. The waiver claim was confirmed by the Jays as they sat out a rain delay at Comerica Park on Wednesday. Wells will not report until Thursday.
Wells, 28, was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the June 2005 free agent draft, out of Towson University in Maryland. He was traded to the M's in 2011 in a trade that brought righthanded starter Doug Fister to Detroit. Wells had been designated for assignment by the M's at the end of training camp to make room on the 25-man roster for Canadian outfielder Jason Bay.
The righthanded hitter batted .228 with 10 homers in 93 games for the Mariners in 2012. Due to the expected poor weather on Thursday, it is likely that Wells will only report to the Jays in Kansas City on Friday. A corresponding roster move, likely the removal of righthander Edgar Gonzalez will be announced before the team leaves Detroit.
That means the Jays will return to a four-man bench and seven relievers. In further news, third baseman Brett Lawrie, out with an injured left side, is scheduled to play in an extended spring training game at the Mattick Training Centre in Dunedin.
Earlier in the day, Jays' general manager Alex Anthopoulos had spoken of the importance of Lawrie's presence in the lineup.
“He’s a really good player and he helps us in so many ways," Anthopoulos said. "I don’t think the team’s built on one player though. I don’t think it’s fair to say, ‘OK, Brett comes back and all of a sudden we’re going to take off.’ But there’s no question [about] what he does defensively, range, the energy he brings.
"But at the same time we can’t just rush him back. We have to make sure he gets his at-bats. Last year when he came back there weren’t enough rehab games left because the [minor-league] seasons were all done, and he was a little shaky offensively for the first I guess two weeks when he came back. We’re anxious to get him back because defensively, obviously, he’s a plus for us."
Casper becomes the fifth Wells in Jays history, joining Greg, David, Vernon and Randy. Anthopoulos is hoping it's not a case of going to the Wells once too often.