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Blue Jays claim Wells off waivers from Mariners

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SEATTLE -- Outfielder Casper Wells was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays on Wednesday after being designated for assignment by the Mariners on their final roster cutdown.

Wells is out of Minor League options, so he was designated for assignment on March 31 when the club decided to go with Jason Bay as its final outfielder on the 25-man roster. That gave the Mariners a 10-day window to trade, release or outright Wells to the Minors if he cleared waivers.

Wells, 28, is an excellent defender, who hit .225 with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs in 124 games for the Mariners over the past two seasons. He batted .189 with two homers, 14 RBIs and a .646 OPS in 53 at-bats this spring.

Wells was one of four players acquired from the Tigers in the Doug Fister trade on July 30, 2011, coming to Seattle along with pitchers Charlie Furbush and Chance Ruffin and third-base prospect Francisco Martinez, who has since been shifted to center field.

The Blue Jays will either need to keep him on their own 25-man roster or go through the same procedure of designating him for assignment if they want to send him to the Minors.

The Blue Jays have a starting outfield of Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus, with Rajai Davis the primary backup at all three positions. Emilio Bonifacio is also capable of playing in the outfield, though he has been used mostly at second base early this season.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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