Casper Wells Rumors

Minor Moves: Laird, Wells, Lerud, Maya, Sappelt

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:

  • The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg BurkeHeaded to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the OriolesReds, Marlins,  White Sox, and Athletics
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash. 
  • In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
  • Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval
  • The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces -- along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes -- picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.

Minor Moves: Ramirez, Bernadina, Wells, Rapada, Manship

We'll keep tabs on today's minor moves via updates to this post.

  • Righty J.C. Ramirez joined outfielders Roger Bernadina and Casper Wells as now-former Phillies players who have elected free agency, according to the International League transactions page. The trio was recently outrighted by Philadelphia. Ramirez, 25, struggled mightily in his first 24 big league innings this year and has not posted a sub-4.00 ERA campaign in the minors since he was 17. Bernadina, 29, was a major contributor for the Nationals in 2012 (.291/.372/.405 slash in 261 plate appearances) before falling off a cliff this season (.181/.250/.295 in 250 plate appearances). And Wells, 28, saw scant MLB action with three teams in 2013, putting up a sub-zero OPS+ after having been an approximately league average hitter over the first three years of his major league career.
  • Sidearming left-handed reliever Clay Rapada has elected free agency from the Indians, also per the International League transactions page. In his first season as a regular big leaguer in 2012, Rapada posted an impressive 2.82 ERA in 38 1/3 innings over 70 appearances. The 32-year-old didn't surrender a run or a walk in 2013, but that was in large part because he threw just four innings for the Indians. Rapada did, however, put up a stellar 2.14 ERA in 33 2/3 Triple-A innings, though he managed only 6.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. 
  • Righty Jeff Manship has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Rockies, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. In eleven appearances, including four starts, Manship threw 30 2/3 innings of 7.04 ERA ball for Colorado's top club, matching the general ineffectiveness the 28-year-old has exhibited throughout his career at the highest level. 
  • Remember to follow MLBTR's DFA Tracker for the latest on players that have been designated for assignment by their clubs. At present, only Alex Castellanos of the Dodgers is stuck in DFA limbo.

Minor Moves: Astros, Mets, Phillies

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here.

  • The Astros have outrighted outfielder Trevor Crowe and pitcher Jorge De Leon, according to a team press release. Crowe, a former first-round pick of the Indians, hit .218/.287/.291 in 181 plate appearances with the Astros in 2013. With Crowe's departure, the only Astro remaining who is eligible for arbitration is Jason Castro. De Leon pitched ten innings of relief for Houston after spending much of the year with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
  • The Mets have outrighted relievers Greg Burke and Sean Henn, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets. Burke, 31, pitched 31 2/3 innings for New York in 2013, posting a 5.68 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. He also made 31 appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas. Before 2013, Burke had not appeared in the Majors since 2009, when he was with the Padres. Henn appeared in four games with the Mets in 2013, pitching most of the season in Las Vegas.
  • The Phillies outrighted four players to Triple-A Lehigh Valley: outfielders Casper Wells and Roger Bernadina, left-hander Cesar Jimenez, and right-hander J.C. Ramirez.  Wells, who also spent time with the White Sox and Mariners in 2013, had a dismal .126/.186/.147 combined slash line in 102 plate apparances.  Ramirez posted a 7.50 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 18 relief appearances but posted stronger numbers at Lehigh Valley.  Bernadina hit .291/.372/.405 for the Nats in 2012 but he had an OPS of just .545 in '13.
  • Correcting an earlier item, the Phillies did not re-sign Michael Martinez. We regret the error.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.

Phillies Claim Casper Wells Off Waivers

The Phillies announced that they have claimed Casper Wells off of waivers from the White Sox.

To call Wells a well-traveled outfielder this season would be putting it lightly, as the Phillies will be the fifth organization he has been with this season. Wells went to Spring Training with the Mariners before being designated for assignment and claimed by the Blue Jays. His next stop was Oakland before ultimately landing in Chicago for the majority of the season.

In 38 games with the White Sox, the 28-year-old hit just .167/.225/.182 -- a far cry from the .246/.317/.435 batting line that he carried into the 2013 campaign. Wells is capable of playing all three outfield positions and is a career .249/.330/.450 hitter against left-handed pitching. He was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2005 draft and remained with that organization until being included in the 2011 Doug Fister trade with the Mariners.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

White Sox Acquire Casper Wells

The White Sox have acquired Casper Wells from the Athletics in exchange for cash considerations, both teams have announced via press release. In order to clear room on the 40-man roster, the White Sox placed left-hander Leyson Septimo back on the 60-day disabled list.

Wells, 28, has garnered quite a bit of media attention due to the constant fluctuation of his roster status this month. After being designated for assignment by the Mariners at the end of Spring Training, he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays ten days later. Following a short stint with Toronto during which he did not appear in a game, he was designated once again, this time being traded to the A's.

Wells' Oakland tenure wasn't much more noteworthy, as he received five plate appearances before being designated for assignment yet again. Casey Pratt of CSN Bay Area tweets that the A's promised Wells they'd try to work something out quickly following his most recent DFA, and they look to have honored that pledge.

Wells is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has posted a strong .264/.349/.489 batting line versus left-handed pitching in his career.  Last season with the Mariners, he hit .228/.302/.396 in 316 plate appearances.

Athletics Designate Casper Wells For Assignment

The Athletics announced that they have designated Casper Wells for assignment.  The move will allow Oakland to reinstate Yoenis Cespedes from the disabled list.

The well-traveled outfielder cost the A's $100K when they picked him up from the Blue Jays but he wound up making just one start for Oakland.  The 28-year-old is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has posted a strong .264/.349/.489 batting line versus left-handed pitching in his career.  Last season with the Mariners, Wells hit .228/.302/.396 in 316 plate appearances.

AL East Notes: Orioles, Burnett, Arrieta, Ichiro

The Orioles entered the eighth inning of yesterday's game with a lead and held on to pick up the victory. That might not seem all that noteworthy on the surface, but as's Matthew Leach writes, yesterday marked the 100th straight win in games where the Orioles have held a lead through seven innings. Leach examines all the aspects of the Orioles' roster that have led to their improbably success with late inning leads. Here's more on the AL East...

  • Alex Burnett spoke candidly with Shi Davidi of regarding the waiver process that led him to end up in the Orioles' organization, and he didn't sound happy about his brief stint with the Blue Jays. Burnett said he was "shocked" to be designated for assignment by Toronto and wondered what the point of his claim was. He also adds that he's had to have his car shipped across the country twice, break two leases and send his pregnant wife home because the constant moving would have been too difficult. Burnett said he's thankful that his process has been relatively quick, and he feels bad for Casper Wells, who spent the better part of three weeks in waiver limbo. Burnett hopes that the process will be brought up at the next Players Association meeting. MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth recently looked at the waiver process in depth.
  • Davidi notes that the silver lining for these players is that they do collect a Major League salary and Major League service time while they are on waivers. 
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick spoke with an AL scout regarding Orioles' right-hander Jake Arrieta and was told, "I know 29 teams that would be takers" (Twitter link). Arrieta's raw stuff draws consistent praise despite poor results. He was optioned to Triple-A yesterday.
  • Danny Knobler of CBS Sports also talked to scouts regarding Arrieta, who said that he has "electric stuff." Knobler writes that Arrieta is simply too talented for the Orioles to give up on.
  • Another scout told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Yankees should be very concerned about Ichiro Suzuki: "His timing is all off. He looks terrible." Ichiro signed a two-year, $13MM contract with the Yankees this offseason.

AL Notes: Gardenhire, Blue Jays, Wells

Ron Gardenhire is in the last year of his contract and the Twins have lost 99 and 96 games the last two seasons, but don't expect him to be dismissed anytime soon, says Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. "I expect Ron to be on this job for a long time," says Twins GM Terry Ryan. "I don't consider it lame duck at all." Here are more notes from the American League.

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he has been so active on the waiver wire because he wants the Jays to field a good team in Triple-A Buffalo, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes (on Twitter). Earlier today, the Jays claimed pitcher Aaron Laffey, marking the Jays' 21st waiver claim since mid-October, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star noted earlier today (also on Twitter).
  • Outfielder Casper Wells will be rusty as he tries to get his season started with the Athletics, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group writes. The Mariners designated Wells for assignment near the beginning of the season. The Blue Jays claimed him, but he never played a game for them, and then they too designated him for assignment. That left Wells in limbo for several more days until the Jays traded him to Oakland. At that time, Hickey notes, Wells hadn't played a game in almost a month, and he hadn't faced live pitching since taking batting practice with Toronto. "The rules hurt guys like me in this position, not seeing live pitching," says Wells. "It’d be nice to stay fresh. But I haven’t had any real at-bats in a month. I’ve done all that I could with that situation." Wells entered with the A's up 13-0 in Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox, and flied out. MLBTR wrote this weekend about how MLB's waiver claim rules hurt players like Wells.

AL West Notes: Rangers, Casper Wells

The Rangers and Athletics sit atop the AL West with about 88% of the season remaining; the Angels, Mariners, and Astros are currently below .500.  The latest from the division:

  • "There's not a lot flashy about what we do. We work. We stick with each other. We try to make good decisions. We've made some bad ones. But more good than bad," Rangers president Jon Daniels told Yahoo's Tim Brown.  The Rangers missed out on all the big names during the offseason, yet they're still looking good in the early going.
  • The idea of a Jurickson Profar-Oscar Taveras swap between the Rangers and Cardinals "has crazy legs for something never discussed between the two teams," Daniels told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  MLBTR probably deserves some of the blame for that, but don't worry, we'll have real trade rumors to discuss soon enough.
  • The Athletics sent $100K to the Blue Jays for Casper Wells, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Wells' role with the team once Yoenis Cespedes returns Sunday is unclear.  After spending about a month in waiver/DFA limbo, Wells should at least get into a few games for the A's.  He lamented the transaction-related layoff, tweets Slusser.

Athletics Acquire Casper Wells

The Blue Jays have traded outfielder Casper Wells to the Athletics in exchange for cash considerations, according to a team press release. The A's transferred Scott Sizemore to the 60-day disabled list in order to create room on the 40-man roster. Wells is out of options and cannot be sent to the minor leagues, so an additional 25-man roster move will have to be made by the A's.

The Blue Jays claimed Wells, 28, off waivers from the Mariners after he was designated for assignment at the end of Spring Training. Wells didn't appear in a single game at any level for the Jays, however, as he was DFA'ed by Toronto just five days after being claimed.

Wells is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has posted a strong .264/.349/.489 batting line versus left-handed pitching in his career. Last night, MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth highlighted Wells as an example of players being left in limbo by the waiver process as he wondered whether or not the waiver system needs to be updated.

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