By John Hickey
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 3:03 pm in 2013 regular season.
Casper Wells, the latest addition to the Oakland roster, is just the latest to learn that baseball isn’t fair – not even close.
The outfielder began the season with the A’s, but the ascension of veteran local product Jason Bay squeezed him out of a job. Wells was designated for assignment, that uniquely baseball move in which a team has 10 days to trade a player, release him or re-sign him to a minor league contract if he clears waivers.
During the 10 days, Wells couldn’t work out with the A’s or anyone, so he didn’t face live pitching. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed him, and so he went to work for Toronto. But he didn’t get into a game, and five days after the Jays claimed him, they, too, used the DFA move to get their roster in balance.
And now the A’s have traded for him, a deal that calls for “cash considerations,’’ believed to be about $100,000.
Wells showed up in Boston Tuesday – he’d flown in from Seattle – without having faced live throwers since a couple of batting practices with the Jays and not having played in a game since the end of March when he was still with Seattle.
There is no way for Wells to get the at-bats without just throwing him onto the field, which the A’s are likely to do. They’d like to have another right-handed bat to face the left-handed Jon Lester Wednesday and the left-handed Wei-Yin Chen Friday when the Orioles are at the Coliseum.
“A month without a game, that’s a little concern,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “There’s not much we can do about it now. He’s here for a reason.’’
Wells said he’s been itching to get even some serious batting practice, but that, too, was not a possibility Tuesday with rain shutting down the entire pregame for the A’s and the Red Sox.
“The rules hurt guys like me in this position, not seeing live pitching,’’ Well said. “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.
“I think it surprised the A’s to learn that it had been so long for me since I was in a game. But it’s good to be here. I know a lot of the guys from playing with the Mariners. They’ve made me feel welcome.’’
It will be interesting to see how the Wells situation plays out, however. Yoenis Cespedes is likely to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday, and if that’s the case, Wells could be looking at being designated for assignment for the third time in a month.
Between now and then, he could wind up playing some.
But he’ll be rusty.