When the Mariner chose Jason Bay over Casper Wells a reserve outfielder, designating Wells for assignment on March 31, they knew they stood a good chance of losing him. And now it has happened, with the Toronto Blue Jays claiming Wells off waivers, first reported by Peter Gammons of MLB.com.
Today was the final day of the 10-day window to resolve Wells’ status. Had he cleared waivers, the Mariners could have assigned him to Tacoma. But now he’s the property of the Blue Jays, who must put him on their 25-man roster or else designate him for assignment themselves if they attempt to send him to the minors.
Wells, 28, hit .225 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs in 124 games with the Mariners after they acquired him from Detroit as part of a trade for Doug Fister on July 30, 2011. The Mariners also acquired Charlie Furbush, who is part of their bullpen; Chance Ruffin, being converted to a starter in Double-A this season; and prospect Francisco Martinez, who was shifted from third base to center field.
Wells hit .189 in spring training in 53 at-bats with 14 RBIs and a .646 OPS. Bay had a .321 average with a .938 OPS. So far in very early going this season, Bay has a .300/.462/.700 line in five games for a 1.162 OPS.
It also looks like the Mariners will call up lefty Bobby LaFromboise from Tacoma to prop up the bullpen, as manager Eric Wedge indicated they needed to do after last night’s debacle. Hat tip to Ryan Divish for first reporting the pending LaFromboise promotion. Lucas Luetge is likely to go down to Tacoma after working three innings last night. Luetge has an 8.31 ERA in four outings and opponents are hitting .444 off him. Luetge has options remaining, and LaFromboise is already on the 40-man roster.
LaFromboise has appeared in two games so far for the Rainiers. In 2 2/3 innings he’s allowed three hits and no runs, with four strikeouts and no walks. He appeared in six games during spring training, putting up a 4.50 ERA while striking out nine in six innings. Last year, LaFromboise put up a 1.59 ERA in 27 games with Tacoma and a 1.01 ERA in 20 games with Double-A Jackson.
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