Getting David Wells would be a boon to Giants fans who like to force awkward and inconsistent jokes about the Giants. I'd like to think I'm a pretty big cog in that particular machine, so I'm all for Wells. I would refer to him as "David Wells, Innings-eater/Funjuns-eater", except the gag would hinge on my changing the snack food every time. Do you get it? He's fat. Every fifth day would be like the average Jay Leno monologue in a world where Luciano Pavarotti is standing trial for murder. Fat jokes, fat jokes, fat jokes! That stuff just does not get old. Except when it does. Which it would. Quickly.
As far as his pitching is concerned, it's always hard to get a read on the super-ancient. If a pitcher is heading into is age-37 season, there are qualms and reservations about that pitchers age. He could get hurt, you think. He could suffer an age-related decline. Great, except this pitcher is going to be 43, and he's built like a compost pile. To our embattled pair, Point and Counterpoint:
Point: David Wells is not in good shape.
Point: David Wells has had back problems, and that's a concern when the player in question looks like a '65 Volkswagen in a baggy uniform.
Point: I think the idea is to rebut these as they come up.
Counterpoint: What can I say? Wells is old, out of shape, and has had back problems.
Point: So we shouldn't get him?
Counterpoint: No, we should. He's not a long-term contract risk, and his control is still phenomenal. Moving out of a DH league and into a spacious home park could help him. He could flop, but as long as the price to acquire him is reasonable, I'm all for it.
Point: Well, yeah, that's understandable.
Counterpoint: So I find one blond hair on your jacket, and suddenly I'm always right? I guess that's a fair trade.
Point: Come on. That hair could have been on a park bench, for all we know. Not fair.
Counterpoint: Sure, it could have been on a park bench. But at least in the past, you would spring for a motel room. Settling for a park bench is going to get you arrested someday.
Point: I don't have to take this. I'm going out. Don't wait up.
With at least a couple of teams bidding for him, the price might not be super low. If the Dodgers were willing to give Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany for a closer, perhaps they'd be willing to give a single blue-chip prospect to keep Wells from a division rival. The Padres have to be a bit concerned about their rotation, and could pull a panic move to get Wells.
If I may, for just one last time, quote from Steven Seagal's Marked for Death: "Everybody wants go heaven. Nobody wants dead." Yeah, I'd like David Wells. But I don't want to give up anything to get him. The Red Sox can take their grubby mitts off Merkin Valdez, Eddy Martinez-Esteve, Travis Ishikawa, Marcus Sanders, Nate Schierholtz, and the like, unless there's a lesser prospect coming back with Wells. I could be convinced to part with a project, like Fred Lewis or Craig Whitaker, but that's about it. I would much rather just take Wells for nothing.
It doesn't seem likely the Giants are going to get Wells, and that might be for the best. I would feel comfortable projecting Wells for about 175 innings at a 4.30 ERA, which isn't enough of an upgrade over Hennessey to include one of the system's top 10 prospects. The Giants are in win-now mode, for sure, but it's worth remembering the pitcher in question is hardly a guarantee to help the Giants win now. Adjust the offer accordingly, and don't look back if it doesn't satisfy the demands.
Would you trade a top-10 prospect for Wells?
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