SAN DIEGO — David Wells is all but penciled in as the No. 5 starter for his hometown San Diego Padres.
The Padres and Wells’ agent agreed in principle Friday to a $3 million, one-year deal that gives the 43-year-old left-hander the chance to make another $4 million in incentives.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said the two sides need to finalize some contract language and Wells must pass a physical. He expects the deal to be finalized by Monday or Tuesday.
Wells’ agent, Gregg Clifton, said the deal was 98-percent done, but that he needed to talk with his client one more time.
Wells’ return comes a little more than a month after the Padres signed 40-year-old Greg Maddux to a $10 million, one-year deal.
Wells will anchor a rotation that includes Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Clay Hensley and Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner.
“I think it’ll give us one of our better pitching staffs probably since 1998, with a great blend of experience as well as young starters,” Towers said.
With Kevin Brown as their ace in 1998, the Padres reached the World Series before being swept by Wells’ New York Yankees. Wells won Game 1 at Yankee Stadium.
“It also gives us a left-hander, which we think was much-needed,” Towers said. “In talking to him last Thursday, I think this guy is dedicated and focused, somebody who can put together a good season for us.”
The Padres obtained Wells from Boston for the stretch run on Aug. 31. He went 1-2 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts for the two-time NL West champions before losing Game 2 of the division series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Wells said then he was leaning toward retirement, adding that it would take a “stupid” offer in terms of money for him to come back.
Besides his $3 million in base pay, Wells can earn $1 million in active roster bonuses, meaning he must avoid time on the disabled list, and another $3 million based on making starts 11 through 27.
When Wells pitched for the Padres in 2004, he earned $1.25 million in base pay plus $4.75 million in bonuses for making 31 starts.
Including his 2-0 loss to the Cardinals in October, Wells is 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 27 career postseason appearances, including 17 starts. He’s been to the World Series three times, winning it with Toronto in 1992 and the Yankees in 1998.
In a big league career dating to 1987, he is 230-148 with a 4.07 ERA with Toronto, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Boston and San Diego.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
The San Diego Padres are going to boast one of the best rotations in the entire Majors next year. Wells will join a staff that was already a top 10 rotation going into the season. The Rotation will look something like this:
1. Jake Peavy RHP
2. Chris Young RHP
3. Greg Maddux RHP
4. David Wells LHP
5. Clay Hensley RHP
I believe the 1-3 spots will each win atleast 45 games combined and as many as 55 combined. Add Wells and Hensley to those and you could see a rotation with possibly 70-75 combined wins.
This deal is neither a big one or a small one. It’s a low risk-medium or higher reward. A win-win situation for the Padres as long as Wells stays healthy.
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