White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal

White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal
April 6, 2012, 2:57 pm
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The White Sox, seeking minor-league pitching depth, have signed Kip Wells to a minor-league deal according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Per Hardball Talk, Wells was last seen pitching for the independent-level Long Island Ducks in 2010, but Heyman says Wells' fastball hasn't suffered:

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Jon HeymanKip wells hasn't pitched in bigs since 2009 (reds, nats) but was hitting 93-94 in tryouts. Still only 34. chisox
Apr 06 via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply
Wells pitched for the White Sox from 1999-2001, compiling a 5.15 ERA in 267 23 innings. His worst year of that stretch was the best year for the Sox, as Wells posted a 6.02 ERA in 20 starts for the AL Central champions in 2000.

He was dealt along with Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe to Pittsburgh in the infamous Todd Ritchie trade on Dec. 13, 2001 and had decent results in his first three years with the Pirates (3.72 ERA, 534 IP). But with a high home run rate, average walk rate and below-average strikeout rate, things were bound to come crashing down for Wells, and they did in 2005.

Wells spent 2005-2009 bouncing between Pittsburgh, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado, Kansas City, Washington and Cincinnati, never finding the results he saw with Pittsburgh. Walks were a big issue (nearly five per nine innings) and as a result, his ERA during that stretch was 5.53.

This move doesn't change Dylan Axelrod's status as the most likely Charlotte Knight to be called up if the big-league club needs a starter. Wells may not even be in line for a call-up if Axelrod is passed over, although newfound success for the 34-year-old Baylor alum could lead to a return to the majors two years after he was last spotted at that level.