The Red Sox plan to make final cuts and organize their Opening Day roster on Thursday, but a late wrinkle could change things for them. The Mariners are deciding between old friend Jason Bay and Casper Wells for the last spot on their 25-man roster. According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox would be interested in scooping up Wells, should the Mariners go with Bay.
Where would there be room for Wells? Possibly in place of a player the Red Sox have already acquired from the Mariners this off-season: Mike Carp. The two have similar output in the majors -- Carp owns a 109 OPS+, Wells 110+. Both have hit left-handers better than right-handers, despite the fact Carp is a lefty. The key difference between the two is in their defense. While Carp can handle first base well enough, he's not a fit in the outfield, and for his career at Fangraphs, is six runs below average. Baseball Reference is less kind, saying Carp has cost the Mariners nearly two wins on defense in his 173 games in the field. Wells, on the other hand, has amassed a win on defense via Baseball Reference, and about two wins more than Carp at Fangraphs with the glove.
Shedding Carp would cut down on the first base depth, but they still have Mauro Gomez at Pawtucket, and Daniel Nava has been working at the position during the spring a bit. Neither is a long-term option at the position, but in a pinch, they do have that on hand.
Wells is out of options, so the Mariners are deciding between a possible Bay rebound and a player they still have under team control for another four years. Because of that, they might very well choose Wells, but then again, this is the Mariners. They've very clearly been gunning for things in 2013 despite the fact the roster is built more for the future, so that might end up meaning the exclusion of Wells.
He is 28 years old, so the Sox wouldn't be scooping him a super young player or anything like that, but if they can grab a player who is inexpensive, under team control, and would be a useful bat against lefties and outfield glove for the bench, then that's a nifty nab for late March.