With their regular season concluding for Major League Baseball teams, and only a handful of teams playing in the post-season, these next couple of weeks are usually when the free agent market begins to develop. As with the season concluding, there are a plethora of Minor League players that have elected for free agency. There were several players from the Cubs’ Minor League system that elected for Free Agency, but perhaps, none more prominent than starting pitcher Randy Wells and infielder Blake DeWitt.
June 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Randy Wells (36) pitches against the New York Mets in the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Wells’ fall from grace within the Cubs’ organization began in 2010, when amid concerns about his work ethic, Wells posted a record of 8 and 14 to go along with an ERA of 4.26. This was after a 2009 season that saw Wells trend towards the top of the Cubs’ starting rotation with a record of 12 and 10 while posting an ERA of 3.05. In 2011, the downfall continued for Wells. The pitcher made 23 starts for the Cubs, pitching to a record of 7-6 and an ERA of 4.99. Last off-season, the Cubs acquired starting pitchers Travis Wood and Chris Volstad, and the writing was on the wall that Wells may not be long for the Cubs’ organization. Wells began the 2012 season in the Minor Leagues, however the pitcher appeared in 12 games this season with the Cubs. In those 12 games, Wells posted an ERA of 5.34. Wells was given ample opportunity to progress into a mainstay in the Cubs’ starting rotation, and has failed make the necessary progressions. There was no future for Wells with the Cubs, which is why he will be looking for a new team this winter.
Another player who was not long for the Cubs’ organization was infielder Blake DeWitt. DeWitt was acquired by former general manager Jim Hendry during the 2010 season in a trade that sent starting pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to the Los Angeles Dodgers. DeWitt started the 2011 season as the Cubs’ starting second baseman, however, was replaced by Darwin Barney towards the later portions of the season. DeWitt started the 2012 season with the Cubs, but after posting a slash line of .138/.133/.172/.305 in his first 29 at bats this season, the infielder was demoted to the Iowa Cubs. DeWitt spent the majority of the season with the Iowa Cubs, and was never really heard from again. For that reason, it seems rather obvious the former Dodger will seek employment elsewhere this season.