Mama, Raise up Your Boys to be Left-Handers

The Dodgers and lefthander David Wells have reached a contract agreement according to Major League sources. Wells, who was released by San Diego after a 5-8, 5.54 record will pitch Sunday against the Mets instead of the scheduled Brett Tomko, who has won just once since early May, is 2-11 with a 5.80 ERA.

The Dodgers, who are apparently more desperate than one would think, will pay Wells a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum salary, about $80,000, while the Padres pick up the rest of his $3 million salary.

Wells, who has 235 wins and a career ERA of 4.12 over a 21-year Major League career, is expected solve the Dodgers' depleted pitching staff. Currently, the Dodgers are without the services of starting pitchers Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf and Hong-Chih Kuo.

The 44-year-old Wells was hit hard in his last of his last four outings with the Padres, allowing at least five earned runs in each game, including seven runs against the Cardinals on Aug. 6 and had an 0-3 record with a 14.33 ERA in his last four starts.

Although the Associated Press is reporting that a deal has been reached with Wells, but Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, speaking through a team spokesman, said there were no announcements to be made Thursday night.

But the Dodgers are believed to have sweetened their offer with an incentive clause based on games started. That clause would replace a similar clause in Wells' San Diego contract that was nullified when the Padres released him. That called for Wells to receive an additional $176,471 per start beginning with his 11th start of the season and continuing through his 27th.

Also, Wells drew a seven day suspension after he was ejected from a July 7 start against Atlanta. He is appealing that suspension and won't have to serve it until his appeal is heard.

If a deal is completed, Wells will join the Dodgers (66-61) at a time when they finally appear to have stopped a late-season freefall that threatened to put them out of the hunt for a playoff spot. They now have won six of their past eight games after dropping 19 of 26 immediately before that.

In the odd atmosphere of todays baseball, after facing the Mets, Wells could start against the Padres the following weekend in San Diego, who will be paying him more money than the Dodgers to pitch against them.

Aybar Runs Out of Luck-- The Atlanta Constitution reports that former Dodger Willy Aybar had surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand, abruptly ending the troubled Braves infielder's tumultuous season before it every really began.

Aybar spent three months in a substance-abuse rehabilitation facility in South Florida, after opening the season on the disabled list with a hand injury and being suspended April 15 for skipping injury rehab.

Aybar, 24, is expected to be out 6-8 weeks recovering from surgery on the broken hamate, an injury that usually occurs when a player is hit by a pitch or takes an awkward swing. The Braves expect he will be ready to play winter ball, and tentatively plan to bring back Aybar next season.

The injury is in the same area of his right hand he hurt playing last winter in his native Dominican Republic, which sidelined him much of spring training following his late arrival for visa issues.

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