Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
And finally, if you don't think Jason Bay is going to grab the proverbial "last" roster spot, I've got two words for you: Endy Chavez.
Signing Chavez to a minor league deal earlier this week all but sealed the deal that Casper Wells' days in a Mariners uniform are numbered.
Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times mapped out the situation on Sunday:
The signing gives the Mariners added center field depth in the event they part ways with outfielder Casper Wells this week. Wells appears to have been beaten out for a fifth outfield spot by Jason Bay, but is out of minor league options and could be lost to a waiver claim if the team attempts to outright him to AAA.
There is still a chance the Mariners could try to trade Wells before being forced to make a roster move involving him.
Wells plays all three outfield spots. With lingering questions about the health of starting center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, the Mariners' only other capable major league center fielder is Michael Saunders.
But with Chavez providing insurance, the Mariners could move Wells to free a spot for Bay.
Do I think this move makes sense?
Yes and no.
Yes, Bay has looked decent this spring and could contribute this season.
No, because Wells is younger and a far better defender that can serve as an insurance policy.
Ultimately, though, I can't see Wells ever breaking through while playing in Seattle, given all the chances he's had over the course of the past several years. Perhaps it's for the best that Wells be given a shot elsewhere, rather than be shuffled back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma.
Strangely enough, when you look down the roster the same thing could probably be said of Blake Beavan. But for this year I believe he will be given the benefit of the doubt.
Beyond those two players, though, and a handful of veterans that may or may not pan out this year like Bay, Joe Saunders, Kameron Loe, and Kelly Shoppach, to name a few, the Mariners seem to have quite a few promising young players to build with.
While it may take them time to mature, it's good to know that both the infield and bullpen already have some key fixtures in place. Meanwhile, the starting rotation will likely be a work in progress, especially in the early going this season as what you see today may look entirely different in a few weeks'/months' time. The good news there is that the team should have plenty of help working to refine their skills down at Tacoma.
Finally, the outfield...well, let's just hope that they stay healthy, because honestly the Mariners really don't have a whole lot of talent to fall back on beyond the fossil-fueled old-timers they have paired alongside Michael Saunders.
Fingers are crossed, but if you ask me it's time to start the season and play ball!