Friday, April 5, 2013

Waiver Wire Target - Casper Wells

Casper Wells – Waiver Wire Target

During this past off-season, the Seattle Mariners went out of their way to upgrade the production they have received from their corner outfielders, first base, and designated hitter.  In order to do this, they acquired 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, 1B/OF Michael Morse, OF Jason Bay, and OF/DH Raul Ibanez.  What this has done is force a very capable outfielder in Casper Wells onto the waiver wire.  On the final cut down day, the Mariners made the wrong call in opting to keep the washed up Jason Bay instead of the multicapable Wells,  

Since Mr. Wells was designated for assignment, the Mariners have til Saturday to either cut him loose, or find a trade partner for him.  I think that the Jays should be one of the first teams claiming him if he makes it to waivers.  As Gideon, and myself have discussed on the last two podcasts, the Blue Jays may be looking for a platoon partner for both Colby Rasmus, and Adam Lind against tough left handed pitchers.  At the moment one of the primary options for that role is Rajai Davis, and so lets compare what Davis and Wells have done during their career vs. left handed pitching. 

Davis vs. LHP – 754 PA - .290/.349/.417 – 15.4 K%, 7.8 BB%
Wells vs. LHP – 313 PA - .264/.349/.489 – 26.2 K%, 10.2 BB%

While Wells isn’t a natural center fielder, but he has played there in 35 major league games, and over 200 minor league games. Unlike Davis, his speed isn’t a plus asset, but his instincts as an outfielder allow him to be a superior defensive outfielder than Davis has been throughout his career.  In limited playing time, Wells has consistently been 5 runs above average defensively, contrast that with Davis who is routinely 5 to 10 runs below average. 

Especially since the team is currently carrying 8 relief pitchers, I’d think there would be very little risk in claiming a quality depth player like Casper Wells.  I have doubts whether Wells would get past a team as desperate for talent like the Minnesota Twins, so I wouldn’t even have an issue with the Jays trading a low level prospect in order to jump to the front of the queue to assure they get him.


  1. Hard to fit on our bench though. I hate to say it, but Davis speed is a great weapon. Is the increase in power worth the massive drop off in speed?

  2. If it wasnt for the presence of a Bonifacio on the team already, I'd agree that Davis' elite speed could be an elite weapon, however since I think Bonifacio will be on the bench around half the time Bonifacio's speed can more than compensate for the loss of what Davis offers.

    Wells offers both an upgrade at the plate, and in the field, so I'd think that is worth the trade off.

    Also, at the moment we wouldnt need to cut Davis loose in order to claim Wells (or sign him now that he has already cleared waivers). Until Lawrie comes back from the disabled list (even if its just a few days) it would only require us to cut loose Jeremy Jeffress, and reduce the bullpen down to the standard 7 man, rather than the bloated 8 it is at the moment.

  3. I don't believe that he is free to sign with anyone yet do to his service time. If they don't make a trade for him I do believe he can be sent down to AAA.

  4. Just heard news that they signed him, good foresight on your part!