Wells passes physical while Red Sox ponder starting rotation
BOSTON (AP) -- The Red Sox finalized their deal with free agent pitcher David Wells on Tuesday after the left-hander passed a physical examination.
The 41-year-old Wells signed a two-year deal with Boston worth a guaranteed $8 million. With incentives, the contract could pay him as much as $18 million.
Wells was introduced by Red Sox officials at an afternoon news conference at Fenway Park, a ballpark that Wells, as a member of the rival New York Yankees, said he hated.
ï¿½I said that a long time ago because this is probably one of the worst places of my career,ï¿½ Wells said Tuesday, adding that he never thought heï¿½d ever play for the Red Sox. ï¿½I never thought Iï¿½d be in this situation.ï¿½
Wells was 12-8 with a 3.73 ERA last season for the San Diego Padres. He joins the Red Sox as the teamï¿½s longtime ace, Pedro Martinez, is poised to sign a four-year contract with the New York Mets.
The departure of Martinez leaves many questions about Bostonï¿½s starting rotation. The Red Sox have reportedly had little contact with free agent left-hander Derek Lowe, the teamï¿½s third starter last year behind Curt Schilling and Martinez.
Wellsï¿½ signing fills one need for the World Series championsï¿½a reliable left-handed starter in case Lowe doesnï¿½t return.
With news that Schilling may not be ready for opening day after offseason surgery on his right ankle, Wells could be the Red Sox opening day starter.
ï¿½If that is the situation, give me the ball,ï¿½ he said. ï¿½Iï¿½m ready. I never turned down a challenge, so why start now.ï¿½
Wells is 212-136 with a 4.03 ERA in 18 seasons with seven teams, including two separate stints with the Yankees. Heï¿½s 10-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 25 postseason appearances.
ï¿½David Wells has proven to be one of the top left-handers in the game,ï¿½ general manager Theo Epstein said. ï¿½He throws strikes and should give us quality innings, improving the depth of our starting rotation.ï¿½
But Wells also brings to Boston a colorful past that has sometimes rubbed management and teammates the wrong way. He has been suspended for fighting, fined for comments in a book and injured when he fell off a bar stool at home and injured his wrist.