Today the Chicago Cubs outrighted Randy Wells to AAA Iowa after he cleared waivers. Either Casey Coleman or Chris Volstad is expected to take Wells’ spot in the rotation until Ryan Dempster is ready to return.
Designated for assignment earlier this week, Wells will now try once again to figure things out in the minors. While I’m no longer optimistic, it’s nice to still have him in the organization, I suppose. And, who knows? If/when guys like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are traded, Wells could actually get another shot in the rotation this year, as incredible as that seems.
Even more incredible? The Cubs might be able to trade Wells, in spite of everything, before the July 31 trade deadline.
Jayson Stark (in an article that appears to have since been changed) suggested that the Blue Jays could be interested in Wells as they search for cheaper starting pitching options after suffering a string of injuries. The obvious question you might be asking: if the Blue Jays have interest in Wells, why wouldn’t they have just claimed him on waivers? Well, I can’t answer for certain, but I have a couple ideas. The first is “they’re not interested.” It’s possible (and that could be why Stark may have changed his article – seeing that Wells cleared waivers, he decided to drop that bit). More likely, the Blue Jays were not interested in taking on Wells’ entire contract. He’s owed another $1.5 million or so for the rest of the year, and if the Blue Jays claimed him on waivers, they’re on the hook for all of that. Perhaps they’d take Wells if the Cubs ate his remaining dollars.
Even if that happened, you can count out getting a decent prospect. Wells simply doesn’t have any value right now. At best, the Cubs could get a flyer, flawed “prospect.”
The Blue Jays, you’ll note, once took a chance on Wells before – they took him in the Rule 5 Draft back in 2008, but he didn’t stick, and was returned to the Cubs.