Wells dealt back to hometown Padres

Published: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
SAN DIEGO - Left-hander David Wells was traded Thursday from the Boston Red Sox to his hometown San Diego Padres, seeking pitching as they contend for a playoff spot.
"He's thrilled to be heading back to San Diego and, hopefully, helping get them into the playoffs," agent Gregg Clifton said by phone from Arizona.
The defending NL West champion Padres were off Thursday. They were leading the wild-card race by a half game over Philadelphia, and trailing the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by three games.
The Red Sox are to receive a player to be announced or cash.
- The Associated Press To be on a postseason roster, a player had to be in a team's organization by the end of Thursday.
The 43-year-old Wells, who pitched with the Padres in 2004, was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday night in Boston and designated for assignment.
Wells' locker was nearly empty and four cartons were stacked in front of it before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Reliever Julian Tavarez was picked to start in his place.
The 43-year-old Wells has a history of postseason success and has been one of Boston's best starters while the team has fallen far behind in the playoff race with an 8-21 record in August, the worst in the majors for the month. The Red Sox began the day eight games behind in the AL East and 7 behind in the wild-card standings.
Wells, who battled knee problems most of the season, is 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA. Since returning from the disabled list on July 31, he is 2-2 in six starts. He has a 2.65 ERA in his last five outings beginning August 5.
Wells was expected to be in uniform when the Padres open a home series against Cincinnati on Friday night.
The Dodgers also were said to be trying to get Wells.
Wells has pitched in the postseason 10 times for five clubs - Boston, the New York Yankees, Toronto, Cincinnati and Baltimore. He has a career postseason record of 10-4 with a 3.15 ERA.
He won World Series rings with Toronto in 1992 and the Yankees in 1998, when they swept the Padres. He was with the Yankees when they lost the 2003 World Series to Florida.
The hefty lefty signed with the Padres that offseason, and wanted to remain in San Diego after going 12-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 2004. But he wanted guaranteed money while the Padres offered another incentive-laden contract due to their concerns about his age and history of injuries and off-field incidents.
Wells removed Clifton from those talks at one point, and the pitcher and his wife, Nina, were dealing with general manager Kevin Towers. When Nina Wells pushed too hard, Towers pulled the offer.
Boston then gave Wells $8 million guaranteed over two years with incentives that gave him the chance to earn $18 million.
Wells earned $1.25 million in base pay and another $4.75 million in incentives in 2004 by making 31 starts for the Padres. He could have made $1 million more if he hadn't missed three starts after a fluke household injury.
While horsing around with a friend, Wells tripped over a bar stool at home, knocking a bottle of wine onto the floor. He landed on the bottle and a glass he was holding, severing a tendon in his right wrist, which required surgery, and cutting his left palm.
Wells graduated in 1982 from Point Loma High, the same school that produced Don Larsen. Larsen pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Wells pitched a perfect game for the Yankees against Minnesota on May 17, 1998.
The Red Sox activated left-hander Lenny DiNardo from the 60-day disabled list to take Wells' roster spot.
The Padres signed right-handed reliever Rudy Seanez, who's making his fourth career stop in San Diego. He was designated for assignment by Boston on Aug. 19.

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