By Shannon Drayer
The Mariners found a way to keep Casper Wells for at least another ten days. More on that below, but first, the Mariners Opening Day 25-man roster.
Right from the start this roster boasts more experience and more balance than last year. One thing it doesn’t have is a true 25th man. Eric Wedge feels this is a roster where everyone can play and finding that playing time will be a challenge. A year ago the roster was left-handed bat heavy. This year that won’t be a problem. Wedge will have plenty of options available to him both heading into games and once they get started.
The final move of putting Jason Bay on the 25-man roster was not a surprise. It was assumed by many that the team would just designate Casper Wells for assignment if they were unable to trade him. It wasn’t quite as easy as that. That in fact would be against MLB rules. With the 40-man roster full and it being the end of spring training the team could not DFA him without putting someone else on the 40-man roster. Their only option at that point would be to release him.
The Mariners avoided this by selecting D.J. Mitchell to the Major League roster which put the roster at 41. They then DFA’d Wells and then optioned Mitchell to Tacoma. In the simplest terms, the Mariners traded a D.J. Mitchell option and some payroll for ten days to trade, release or re-assign Wells. If he clears waivers then the team can send him to Tacoma.
For now, the original spring roster of 61 is finally down to 25 and the Mariners are ready to play a game that counts tomorrow.