I may not have been a Padre fan as long as some of you, but this is the strangest season I have encountered as a fan. It has been an exercise in worst case scenarios. Between Carlos Quentin missing most of the season with a knee injury, the explosion of Cory Luebke’s elbow, and Cameron Maybin channeling his inner-Ruben Rivera, 2012 has been as depressing as a Morrissey album.
The most depressing part hasn’t been the play on the field (hear me out), but all the injuries that have been suffered, especially to the young players. Joe Wieland, Casey Kelly, and Robbie Erlin have all suffered injuries, and that has prevented them from having extended auditions at the big-league level. Th injuries have forced the Padres to use retreads like Jeff Suppan, and Kip Wells. In an obviously lost season, with all the kids down with injuries, and all the retreads stinking up the joint, the Padres should take a flier on Randy Wells.
No, I am not saying that Randy Wells will save the Padres season, nor will he develop into the number one starter that the Padres are missing. Wells was designated for assignment by the Cubs today, and the Cubs have ten days to trade or release Wells. Wells has been brutal this year, as he has posted a 5.34 ERA for the Cubs, and he is walking almost eight batters per nine innings pitched. A few years ago, Wells looked like a legitimate big-leaguer.
In 2009, Wells 12-10 in 27 starts, with a 3.05 ERA, and he finished sixth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. The next year, he was still decent, posting a 4.26 ERA, and pitched nearly 200 innings. 2011 and 2012 have not been kind to Wells, but perhaps a change of scenery could benefit the right-hander.
One issue that could impede Wells to the Padres is cost — always a concern with the Padres. Wells is signed for 2012 for $2.705 million, and if the Padres claimed Wells, they would be on the hook for about half of that amount. However, that amount should not be too prohibitive, especially if the team dumps salary at the deadline. The Padres are woefully thin in pitching depth, and Wells could be an intriguing fit in San Diego.