Randy Wells is 29 years old and has started at least 23 games for the Cubs in each of the past three seasons, posting a 4.01 ERA in 500 innings overall, yet today they demoted him to the minors as part of the latest round of spring training cuts.
Sending down a veteran with that much big-league experience and some pretty decent career numbers is surprising and even more so when you consider that Wells is under contract for $2.7 million after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal in mid-January.
Chicago’s rotation now looks to be Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Chris Volstad, and Jeff Samardzija, the latter of whom is 28 years old with five career starts in the majors.
The Red Sox-Yankees game scheduled for this afternoon has been moved to this evening because of weather, but there are still happenings in the Bronx: the Yankees have called up top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
Sheffield, 22, is the Yankees’ highest-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The lefty was acquired in the Andrew Miller deal back in 2016. In 2018 he made the jump from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a cumulative 7-6 record in 20 starts and a 2.87 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 116 innings.
The Yankees reportedly plan is to keep Sheffield in the bullpen for the time being, with his late season shift to a relief role at Scranton designed to get him used to helping out for the Yankees stretch run and, possibly, a playoff run. He’ll likely have a shot at the Yankees’ rotation next spring.