June 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcherRandy Wells
(36) pitches against the New York Mets in the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Last April, ex-Cub Randy Wells called an end to his career at age 30 after struggling mightily in the Rangers minor league system. This was coming off an injury and the immediate lack of productivity apparently led Wells to believe that he would not be able to bounce back fully.
Fast forward to this current offseason and to an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat, which reports Wells is looking for a minor league deal with a chance to latch on with another team and take one more shot at returning to the Majors. He even threw a live session for a Diamondbacks scout.
It would not be out of the question for Wells to land in someone’s camp via a non guaranteed deal. As the calendar prepares to turn to February, now is the time for teams to add fringe pitching depth, with pitchers and catcher due to report to Spring Training in just a couple of weeks.
Cubs fans will recall Wells’ fantastic rookie campaign, which saw him put together 12-10 record, paired with a 3.05 ERA. Do not let that near .500 win loss total fool you. Like many Cubs starters in recent seasons, Wells was a victim of a lack of offense or team support in 2009. A trio of losses were credited to Wells despite just one earned run allowed and there was a personal three game losing streak early in the season where he had just given up six runs total. The awards voting sure recognized his season, as Wells ended up sixth in the Rookie of the Year balloting. Not too shabby for a 38th round draft pick that was originally selected as a catcher.
Of course Cubs fans also know that Wells struggled to replicate his debut season success, eventually dropping to rock bottom in 2012 due to injury and a lack of success. With a career WHIP of 1.386 and 3.1 walks per nine innings, you can begin to see that it was not just injuries that cut Wells’ career short.
Now that the former catcher has had a year off to rest his arm, it would be interesting to see if Wells can stay healthy and regain his combination of control and stuff that brought him positive attention in 2009. The current Cubs front office is known to stockpile starting arms ahead of Spring Training and a return to where Wells had his greatest success could set the stage for not only a personal career comeback, but the ability to un-retire where it all began.
What do you think Cubbies Crib fans? Would you take a minor league contract flier on our old friend Randy Wells?