Carrie Muskat tweeted this just a few minutes ago...
Randy Wells sent to Minors.
I'm still having trouble with that one sinking in. I can only imagine what Wells is thinking. As we said yesterday, he's had two solid years followed by an injury plagued one last season. He did, however, finish strong and followed that up with a great spring.
The reasoning behind this is simple. It's cold, hard logic.
Wells apparently did have an option left and the Cubs used it to save a roster space, probably for players they cannot send down such as Lendy Castillo and/or Frankie De La Cruz.
Check out this excellent chart and exhaustive explanation of options and other roster management factors by AZ Phil of The Cubs Reporter.
What this means long term is that the Cubs can continue to stretch out Wells in case a pitcher gets hurt or one falters. The Cubs do have one starting pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, who is unproven and another, Paul Maholm, who had some shoulder issues last season. The Cubs must have felt Wells was more valuable as rotation depth than as a long reliever.
It also helps keep his trade value up as teams can acquire him and plug him in rather than lose some time stretching him out.
The same is true of Casey Coleman, who was also optioned. Although he showed improved velocity as a reliever, it appears the Cubs value rotation depth above all else.