ARLINGTON, Texas -- Not only does he have a major league jersey, Casper Wells is pleased to have a rather respectable number as well.
The new White Sox outfielder joined the team Tuesday afternoon and has been assigned No. 39 for whenever he makes his debut.
Wells -- who has appeared in 227 games since 2010 -- was acquired by the White Sox from the Oakland A’s on Monday night for cash considerations.
Although he’d rather focus on hitting fastballs instead of jersey numbers, Wells has been at the mercy of clubhouse managers across the American League for the last month.
In April alone, Wells has been with four different teams.
Suffice it to say, he’s kept tabs on his jersey numbers with each team. Thus far he has worn 33, 45 and 53 before he was given 39.
“I was looking to be in the 60s,” Wells said with a laugh. “Whatever they give me. I’m just happy to be in the big leagues.”
Wells’ adventures began on the eve of the regular season when the Seattle Mariners, for whom he played 93 games in 2012, designated him for assignment.
On April 10, the Toronto Blue Jays claimed Wells off waivers. He joined the Blue Jays but Wells never appeared in a game and was designated again only to be claimed by the Oakland A’s on April 22. He appeared in three games with the A’s and went 0-for-5 before he was designated on Sunday.
Until the White Sox called on Monday night, Wells had planned to head back to Seattle to work out until he knew where he would play.
Although his travels have seemed endless, the former Detroit Tigers outfielder said he’s been able to stay positive.
“You could go through a waiver period and be in the minor leagues,” Wells said. “So that the clubs see you as benefitting their club right now, it gives me some confidence and shows clubs are interested. …I understand the business a lot more now given my situation and what I went through.”
With Dayan Viciedo on the disabled list, the White Sox found themselves left-handed-dominant in the outfield. Of the five active outfielders the club carried on Sunday, only Alex Rios hits right-handed.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura preferred to add a righty to his bench and Wells fits the bill. Wells has a .261/.345/.482 with 13 homers in 317 career plate appearances against left-handed pitchers.
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“We got a little too left handed,” Ventura said. “We’re too right-handed to begin the year, and then when injuries start coming, you start filling in and you become too left-handed. That’s what we have in the minor leagues and we pick up Casper to help balance that out. He’ll be getting a start here probably in the next couple days.”
Wells said he’d love nothing more than an opportunity with the White Sox.
He’s familiar with several players from the minor leagues and said he feels like his current situation offers more promise than his previous stops this season.
Of course that could all go back to the numbers thing, Wednesday being May 1.
“April’s going to be behind me in one more day,” Wells said. “Sometimes you just get feelings. It’s funny. I’ve always loved the city of Chicago and felt like I’d love to play here. In the back of my head, like a feeling I just wanted to be in Chicago and coincidentally the White Sox picked me up for what it’s worth.”