While they slowball it, the Phillies have not only made an offer but increased it. There are several other teams interested in Wells and the Yankees don't appear to be one of them – that is until they find a way to trade for Randy Johnson.
Ironically, it was the Phillies who got into the mix for the services of Rudy Seanez but the Padres maintained the upper hand because the pitcher owns a home 90 miles from San Diego.
Philadelphia could get back at the Friars by signing away Wells, the one pitcher the Padres believe could make a difference on the club this year while giving them financial flexibility again next season.
The pressure has been turned up slightly with the Giants acquisition of Armando Benitez. The market has been slow and the Padres have paced themselves at the foot of the basement stairs.
If they are unable to get a deal done with Wells, the fallback options dip back into the nostalgia bag. They have made an inquiry into Woody Williams, another former Padre who pitched for St. Louis last season and another lefty, Odalis Perez.
Perez isn't getting much attention this offseason but is just 17 and had 26 quality starts last year. He also received the worst run support in the league, 3.3 runs per nine innings in his 31 starts. He would be welcome into another pitcher friendly park and likely wouldn't miss a beat. The Mariners have also been linked to the lefty but no contract offers have been made.
Expect the news to finally start heating up as the first week of December passes and the winter meetings begin in Anaheim later in the month.
The Padres are still exploring trade avenues but do not want to take on any more bad contracts in the process. That could be impossible given the team's wish to move either Phil Nevin or Ryan Klesko.
"See if we can address some of our needs through trades," General Manager Kevin Towers said of his agenda at the winter meetings.
Odds are the both Nevin and Klesko stay put and another deal is made that will surprise and include a couple of minor leaguers.
It may not be what Padre fans had hoped for but it may have to be enough.
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