The waiver deadline is tonight. With the rotation stumbling all over itself in an attempt to find some sort of consistent personnel, David Wells has been bantered about in propagandic circles. Having cleared waivers...could he provide help?
One thing that is obvious to me in this case is that David Wells could provide help in the form of a warm body. Brad Radke has been scratched from his Saturday start after being unable to complete a session of catch due to unbearable pain. Francisco Liriano, while the prognosis is currently positive, is still a question mark. Carlos Silva has been struggling again.
What We Have
Johan Santana, no history lesson needed.
Boof Bonser, who has been surprisingly reliable over his last couple of starts. Over his last four starts he's allowed 11 runs in 23 innings, good enough for a 4.30 ERA.
Matt Garza, who has looked much better since his first start. Since then he's allowed just 5 runs in 18.2 innings and three starts, posting a 2.41 ERA. He also has rung up 13 hitters on strikes in that period.
I've never been a fan of David Wells. Ever. Some of it has to do with him pitching a perfect game against us back in 1998, when he was supposedly "half-drunk". Most of it simply has to do with him being a surly, out of shape individual. David, if you worked out some, you might feel better...and you might learn how to smile.
Or, you could just continue waking up every morning slumped over in a pool of what could be a combination of beer and vomit.
What Wells brings to the table, whether I like it or not, is experience. Experience is something the Twins pitching staff is short on, especially if Brad Radke goes down. He's won 229 games, struck out 2105 batters and wears a ring. None of this matters, however, if he can't be effective or healthy...and there are legitimate concerns over both.
David Wells hasn't started a full complement of games (33+) since 2000 with the Blue Jays. While he's continued to eat innings into the upper 100's in four of the five seasons leading into 2006, those nagging injuries and his physical condition are showing the wear of time. These things have caught up to him, limiting him to 8 starts and 47 innings leading into his start tonight. In those 47 innings, he's allowed 64 hits and 10 homers en route to a 4.98 ERA. A 1.53 WHIP, a .327 opponent average and 4.60 K/9 ratio could be symptoms of a larger issue than Wells himself: David Wells is on his last leg. Or beer.
Beggars Can't Be Choosers
Sure, Wells has effectiveness and health issues...but so do the Twins. What the Twins need to decide, if they are indeed interested in the rotund southpaw, is if they can coax another month and some playoff games out of an arm with over 3000 innings of wear. If they believe they can, if they believe that Wells truly gives them something that Baker or Bonser or Garza can't...well, even then I STILL probably won't be happy with his acquisition. Because although he brings in experience and an arm that (currently) works, I'm not convinced he'll out-perform who we have, and I'm not sure he'll be anything but a nuicance in the clubhouse.
Reportedly, the San Diego Padres are close on a deal that would get them Wells in exchange for a AAA catcher. The Twins could certainly find a similar package, although they might have to up the ante considerably since they'd be convincing a (technically) Wild Card team to trade with its competition.
I wouldn't do it. Would you?