Coming off of their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Oakland A's made an addition to their 25-man roster, acquiring OF Casper Wells from the Toronto Blue Jays. The A's will announce a corresponding move to their 25-man roster when Wells arrives in Boston, where the team is set to take on the Red Sox.
It has been a strange start to the season for Wells. The right-handed hitter battled for a spot in the Seattle Mariners' outfield this spring, but lost out to Jason Bay when he hit .189/.250/.396 in 53 at-bats.
Out of options, Wells was placed on waivers by the Mariners just before the start of the season. He was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays on April 10. Despite being on the Jays' roster for the past 12 days, Wells never appeared in a game for the Blue Jays and has yet to have a plate appearance this season.
Originally a member of the Detroit Tigers' organization, Wells made his major league debut in 2010 with Detroit. He had a strong rookie season in 2010, batting .323/.364/.538 with four homers in 36 games for the Tigers. In 2011, Wells hit only .237, but he had a 759 OPS thanks to a .442 SLG and 11 homers in 95 games. During the 2011 season, Wells was traded from Detroit to Seattle as part of the trade that landed starter Doug Fister with the Tigers.
In 2012, Wells split the season between Triple-A Tacoma and the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners. He received 285 at-bats with the Mariners, but he managed only a .228/.302/.396 line with 10 homeruns. Wells did have an 891 OPS in 131 at-bats against left-handed pitching, however.
Wells has historically hit left-handed pitching significantly better than right-handed pitching, so he is likely to play a platoon role for the A's. Although Wells doesn't have blazing speed, he is a solid runner and can handle all three outfield spots. He is considered an above-average defensive player.
In 503 career minor league games, Wells has an 838 OPS and 83 homeruns. He was a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2005 out of Towson University. Wells replaces Scott Sizemore on the A's 40-man roster. Sizemore, who was a teammate of Wells in the Tigers' chain, was placed on the 60-day DL with a torn ACL.
This move figures to be the first of a few for the A's this week. Infielder Adam Rosales is rehabbing in the minor leagues and should be close to returning to big league games and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to return from the DL on April 28.