M’s Cut Three More
The M’s announced this morning that Luke French has been optioned to Triple-A, while Josh Bard and Chris Gimenez have been re-assigned to minor league camp. If you’re wondering about the difference, a player who is in camp on a minor league deal does not need to be optioned out, since he’s not on the 40 man roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Bard or Gimenez asked for their release, as there probably won’t be regular playing time for both in Tacoma.
After cutting Royce Ring and Matt Tuiasosopo yesterday, the roster looks to be pretty close to finalization, barring a trade in the next couple of days anyway. Here’s what we’re looking at.
Catcher: Olivo, Moore
Infield: Figgins, Ryan, Jack Wilson, Smoak, Kennedy, Josh Wilson
Outfield: Bradley, Saunders, Ichiro, Langerhans
The last spot in the bullpen essentially comes down to Cesar Jimenez and Tom Wilhelmsen. Jimenez is out of options and would give the team a second left-handed arm out of the bullpen, but Wilhelmsen has far better stuff and some legitimate upside. Both are on the 40 man roster, so that won’t be a factor in the decision – in the end, it will come down to whether or not the M’s believe that Wilhelmsen’s stuff outweighs his lack of experience. Personally, I think he’s probably better off starting the year in the minors – it’s not like the team couldn’t easily bring him up if he starts the year strong – but given that the bullpen projects to be pretty lousy until Aardsma returns, I can understand the temptation of having another big arm to come on in relief in April.
Of course, all of this is subject to change in the next 72 hours, as the M’s have a few days to pick up a player who might be getting squeezed out somewhere else. With what’s in camp right now, though, this is probably the roster.