In a move which should come as no surprise, the Cubs announced this morning that they have designated Randy Wells for assignment.
Wells failed to make it out of the fourth inning last night against the Mets. The 29-year-old right-hander gave up three runs and issued four walks, including one to opposing pitcher Dillon Gee, who was trying to give him an out with a sacrifice bunt.
Wells posted a 3.02 ERA as a rookie back in 2009, but he hasn’t come anywhere close to the same success since. After being limited to 23 starts last season due to a forearm injury, he has an ugly 5.34 ERA and 14/24 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings this year.
Wells is making $2.705 million this season as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, so he should pass through waivers easily. As Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com notes, today’s move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who should officially sign with the Cubs within the next few days.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.