David Wells Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Damon, Glaus, Wells

Ken Rosenthal has a new column up; here are some rumor-related points of interest.

  • As you know, it doesn’t make sense for the Yankees to keep both Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon around for 2008.  It’s just not an efficent way to spend $29MM.  Rosenthal says Damon would be open to waiving his no-trade clause, if the Yankees struck a deal with a team that fell under his 12-team protection.  Damon is apparently open to regular playing time on teams not located on the West Coast.  The White Sox, Phillies, Braves, or Astros might make sense, in my opinion.  The Yanks’ ability to pull an exercise-and-trade with Abreu’s 2008 option is hindered by his full no-trade protection.
  • Rosenthal believes the Blue Jays might aggressively shop Troy Glaus this winter.  Glaus surprisingly cleared waivers recently.  Glaus is holding all the cards – he has a full no-trade clause and a player option for 2009.
  • The Rockies will pass on David Wells, but the Dodgers are still interested.  The Rox might still go for Steve Trachsel if they opt for experience over potential.
  • Craig Monroe seems to be an option for second-tier clubs, especially if he becomes a free agent.  The Giants will pass

Dodgers, Rockies Interested In David Wells

Who wants seven starts from David Wells?  Apparently the Rockies and Dodgers do, as both teams have already inquired.  Wells is now a free agent.

I say seven starts because Boomer still has a seven-game suspension to serve.  We knew from this morning’s Denver Post that the Rockies were considering Wells, though that article cited only "internal discussions."  Well it’s external now, baby.  The Dodgers were also under heavy speculation with the whole West Coast thing, and now they’re officially in the game.

Rockies Rotation In Shambles

The Rockies are five games out in the NL West and two out in the Wild Card.  Baseball Prospectus sets their playoff odds at a healthy 22-27%.  Their main strength has been team OBP (second best in the league).  The Rockies’ offense has dominated at Coors Field.  They’ve also had some fine relief work from Manny Corpas, Jeremy Affeldt, and even Jorge Julio

But to have a legitimate shot, the Rockies need to sort out their starting rotation.  According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, injuries to Jason Hirsh, Rodrigo Lopez, and Aaron Cook have decimated the starting staff.  The current five consists of Jeff Francis, Josh Fogg, Ubaldo Jimenez, Elmer Dessens, and maybe rookie Franklin Morales.  Recently-acquired Ramon Ortiz will stay in the pen for now.  There doesn’t seem to be talk of using Taylor Buchholz in the rotation again.

While Jimenez was dominant yesterday against the Padres, control figures to remain a problem for him.  Same deal with Morales.  Cook should only miss three starts, and the Rockies desperately need him back.  Lopez is out for the season and Hirsh’s contribution will be minimal.  Fogg and Dessens are mostly just filler.

Since it’s August, the only real trade possibility is to acquire more filler.  Renck specifically mentions Steve Trachsel and David Wells as pitchers on the radar.  We’ve also seen the Rox linked to Josh Towers.  Trachsel and Towers have already cleared waivers, and Wells probably will soon.  As always, good starting pitching is hard to find.

Where’s David Wells Headed?

Another August, another David Wells trade.  Which teams would consider the 44 year-old southpaw?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes there’s a small chance the Diamondbacks or Dodgers could be interested.  Wells’ agent, Gregg Clifton, specifically mentioned the Mets, D’Backs, and Dodgers as teams the pitcher would strongly consider.

However, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic indicated Friday that the D’Backs "do not appear to have interest" in Wells.  Similar story for another West team, the Mariners.  Larry Stone of the Seattle Times says the Ms "don’t appear to be interested."  Stone says Wells has a strong preference to stay in the NL.  I don’t blame him.  I wonder if Wells is on Atlanta’s radar.

Padres To DFA David Wells

As suspected, the Padres will designate 44 year-old starter David Wells for assignment tomorrow.  According to Ken Rosenthal, they’ll then have three days to trade him.

It’s possible Boomer will just retire.  But back in July Wells was talking about playing in 2008.  He has an appealing contract situation that pays him $170K per additional start this year.  If you assume he wants to stay on the West Coast, the options are probably limited to the Angels, Mariners, Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks.  The D’Backs had interest last December.  And U.S.S. Mariner thinks he’s better than Horacio Ramirez.  The Rockies might have a need; it was recently revealed that Jason Hirsh fractured his fibula last night (though he continued to pitch afterwards).

Maybe Wells wouldn’t limit himself though; it was said in January that Wells wouldn’t mind playing in Toronto again.  Or how about a return to Detroit?

One more point to consider, courtesy of Padres blog Gaslamp Ball: Wells still has to serve a seven-game suspension this year.

Odds and Ends: Wells, Piazza, Dunn

Here are some miscellaneous happenings around baseball that weren’t worthy of individual posts…

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres might release starter David Wells this week.  Boomer earns about $175K per additional start, which needn’t continue the way he’s pitching.  He’s tossed up a lot of seven earned run performances lately.  Wells would probably retire if released, though it would be fun to see him hook on with the Dodgers.
  • The Yankees designated ageless LOOGY Mike Myers for assignment on Monday.  That leaves Ron Villone as the only southpaw currently in the bullpen.  Phenom pitcher Joba Chamberlain might join the team today;  the Yankees hope he’ll be their K-Rod.  But they have to make the playoffs first (Baseball Prospectus puts their playoff odds at 55-65% currently).
  • The Indians signed Russell Branyan to a minor-league contract.  He still might be able to provide some pop off the bench against righties.
  • Yes, Mike Piazza passed through waivers.  But he also has a gentleman’s agreement with Billy Beane about accomodating his wishes if Beane trades him.  And one of those wishes might be to avoid Minnesota.
  • The Reds plan to either exercise Adam Dunn‘s option and then trade him in the offseason, or else just not exercise the option.  Dunn might command a Carlos Lee-sized free agent deal.  One added wrinkle: Dunn would gain full no-trade protection until June 15th if the Reds pick up the option.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Willis, Dunn, Griffey

Ken Rosenthal has a new column up today.  Not too much brand new material but worth discussing nonetheless.

  • Rosenthal opines that Dontrelle Willis is currently at his peak value.  Mark Buehrle is off the market.  Dontrelle is seemingly healthy and under control through 2009.  There was a scare, though, when Willis had a sore forearm in June.  Rosenthal points out that despite mediocre stats the past couple of seasons, Willis still has an ace aura about him.  That’s probably because of his near-Cy Young in ’05 and the way he took the league by storm in ’03.  The Mets, Mariners, Dodgers, Red Sox, Rockies, and Diamondbacks could all be interested in the Marlins start shopping Willis.  Larry Beinfest seems to be leaning against it though.
  • The Padres may still consider trading for Adam Dunn, but will see how Milton Bradley plays over the next few weeks first.  The Reds and Padres aren’t a great match, as the Padres don’t have many big-name prospects.  Maybe something like Clay Hensley plus Chase Headley (those names are oddly similar), if the Reds are sour on Edwin Encarnacion?
  • Many members of the Mariners’ front office would like to bring Ken Griffey Jr. back, but CEO Howard Lincoln "harbors resentment over Griffey’s departure in 2000."  That makes it sound like Griffey left via free agency, but of course he was actually traded to the Reds.  I did a little digging on that situation, and found that the Mariners offered Griffey an eight-year, $140MM contract in September of 1999.  Junior turned that down and requested a trade in November, citing a desire to play closer to his Orlando home.  Death threats also turned him off from Seattle.  At that time he named the Reds, Braves, Astros, Indians, and Mets as teams he’d like to play for.  By December Griffey decided he’d only accept a trade to Cincinnati – he even vetoed a trade to the Mets.
  • If healthy, David Wells plans to pitch again in ’08.  The Padres probably wouldn’t mind having him back.

Wells Agrees To Contract With Padres

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, David Wells has agreed to a one-year deal.  He gets $3MM guaranteed and can earn an additional $4MM in incentives.  Kevin Towers thinks Jake Peavy, Greg Maddux, Chris Young, Clay Hensley, and Wells make up the team’s best rotation since ’98.

The ’98 NL Champs used Kevin Brown, Joey Hamilton, Andy Ashby, Sterling Hitchcock, and Mark Langston.

Brian Lawrence Update

According to Kevin Towers on XX Sports Radio in San Diego, Brian Lawrence is waiting to see what happens with David Wells.  Towers expects an answer from Wells today.  If Boomer doesn’t sign with the Padres, Lawrence probably will.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners, Rockies, and Pirates are all still competing for Lawrence. 

Jays Interested In David Wells

Ken Rosenthal brings up the possibility that the Blue Jays would entertain bringing 44 year-old lefty David Wells back for a third stint.  The interest is mutual, as Wells would be willing to play in Toronto.

However, Wells’s agent meets with Padres GM Kevin Towers today and San Diego is the clear frontrunner.  The Jays could really use one more vet in the rotation, though.  Wonder if Boomer would consider a return to Cincinnati?  Did he have fun there?