Rumor Roundup: Sox close with Wells

<b>ANAHEIM –</b> The Boston Red Sox are nearing an agreement with David Wells, according to numerous reports.<br> <br> A two-year, $8 million contract is on the table for the free-agent southpaw, according to the <i>Associated Press</i>.

Wells, a loud, boisterous and often controversial hurler known for his unabashed love of the New York Yankees and their rich history, would be switching sides in an epic rivalry that has reached an apex in recent years.

The Red Sox trumped the Yankees with a remarkable comeback in last year's American League Championship Series, and then would be leaning on Wells to help them do it again.

Exactly how much Wells has left in the tank is a better question. The 41-year-old had a solid season for the San Diego Padres in 2004, going 12-8 with a 3.73 ERA, but it is no great secret that he is not in the best pitching shape.

However, his robust frame somehow hasn't got in the way of his pitching success, as Wells continued to be effective through most of the season.

The Red Sox are still hopeful of landing Carl Pavano via free agency and may be close to bringing back Pedro Martinez, according to reports.

In other news…
  • The Yankees' pursuit of Randy Johnson has hit another snag, as a three-way deal for the left-hander involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox is apparently dead.

    In the proposed trade, reported by the Los Angeles Times, Arizona would have received first baseman-outfielder Paul Konerko and the White Sox would have received pitcher Javier Vazquez.

    White Sox GM Ken Williams told on Friday that the only way he saw upgrading his pitching rotation would be via a trade, as the team spent their last available dimes on outfielder Jermaine Dye's $10.15 million contract.
  • The Yankees still hope to excise Kevin Brown from their 2005 pitching rotation, with the Atlanta Braves a possible destination. Agent Scott Boras said on Friday that he was actually "surprised" how well Brown was able to do in the playoffs against Minnesota considering the amount of pain he was pitching with.

Japanese third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, who nearly agreed to a contract with the New York Mets two years ago, will work out Saturday at Santa Ana College. Nakamura went to spring training in 2004 as a non-roster invitee of the Los Angeles Dodgers and was not impressive, especially with a hefty body type.

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