The more it seems that roster questions are settled, the more it seems that questions arise for the Detroit Tigers. Brennan Boesch‘s release last week seemed to pave the way for Jeff Kobernus and Don Kelly to make the roster, but Matt Tuiasosopo has suddenly flashed a power bat and is (apparently) receiving a long look from the club. Brayan Pena and Ramon Santiago seem like locks to make the roster, but the final two bench spots are up for grabs.
It may be the case that one of those spots goes to a player who’s currently outside the organization.
Lynn Henning laid out some of these roster ideas in a Detroit News article this morning and included his thoughts on the likelihood of the Tigers acquiring a position player in a trade.
It would be no surprise if the Tigers sign, or trade for, another right-handed bat ahead of Opening Day
Seattle’s outfield is crowded with marginal options, and it seems that they only have one spot available for either Jason Bay or Casper Wells. Bay, on the strength of his .371/.450/.657 spring batting line, appears to be the front runner for the final outfield spot. That would mean Wells, who’s out of minor league options, would need to be either traded or released.
At this point in his career Wells has shown that he’s not an everyday guy, but he would bring a career .838 OPS versus left-handed pitching and the ability to play all three outfield positions at a plus level. That would make him the perfect platoon mate for Andy Dirks and a better-than-Don-Kelly option to spell either Austin Jackson or Torii Hunter on occasion.
Since the Mariners are likely to cut ties with Wells anyway, a trade could be made rather cheaply (assuming there’s not a strong market for Casper Wells — he’s not so much a really good player as he would be a really-good-fit-for-the-Tigers player), a bottom of the barrel pitching prospect (or, actually, non-prospect) could be all it takes. The Tigers could also wait for him to be waived to make a move, but that would come without the guarantee of landing him.
As far as I’m aware, there’s been no chatter of the Tigers checking in on Wells, so they may not be interested, but it seems like a perfect fit from the outside. If something materialized here, I think we’d see Pena, Santiago, Kobernus, and Wells head north as the four position players on the bench to start the season.
Wells has a .743 OPS this spring for Seattle in 43 plate appearances.