Updated May 24, 2012 - 2:02 pm
Why option Casper Wells?
Miguel Olivo is back with the Mariners and to make room for him the team has optioned Casper Wells to AAA. This clearly is not the move many Mariners fans would like to have seen, but there it is.
While this move is not fun for Wells it may benefit him in that he will get to play every day in Tacoma. Perhaps his bat can catch more attention down there than in Seattle. Of course, he will have to get it going first. The main thing that the Mariners need to see from him is an ability to hit lefties, which he really hasn't done in limited opportunities this year. Thirteen strikeouts in 33 at-bats is a concern.
In sending Wells out the team is left without a late-inning defensive replacement in the outfield. This is significant, particularly with Mike Carp and possibly a good amount of Alex Liddi in left. It also leaves you Chone Figgins as your backup in center, which I suppose he has been all year, which I haven't quite understood unless it was an attempt to show his versatility. I'll take Wells' arm out there all day long over Figgins'.
So why Wells over Figgins? First of all, because of the defensive situation I don't think this will be long term. Does Jack Zduriencik think he can trade Figgins? Will his bosses allow him to eat that salary? Would he if he could? I don't have those answers. I can tell you that there is a chance that schedule plays into it.
While it appears highly unlikely a team is willing to make a trade for Figgins, that doesn't mean that a team wouldn't be interested after he is released, with the Mariners picking up the majority of his remaining salary. Would he be of use to Anaheim for next to nothing? An even longer shot would be Texas. It doesn't look like a likely fit but Ron Washington has long been a fan of Figgins. With 10 of the next 13 games coming up against these two teams I am wondering if the timing caused Zduriencik to take pause on the matter. The Mariners would have 10 days after designating him to make a move but maybe Zduriencik would like to see what happens in the next week. If either club is interested he wouldn't want to make it easy on them.
Again, I can't see this long term. Defensively I think the Mariners are leaving themselves too thin. We will see where they are a couple of weeks from now.
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