Yanks plan pitch to Wells Hope three-year offer will sign lefty quickly

O's prefer 2-year deal

November 18, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

The New York Yankees have talked with the representative for free-agent pitcher David Wells, and may be preparing a pre-emptive offer that would allow them to sign the left-hander quickly, according to a league source.

It's only natural the Yankees have interest in Wells, who always has pitched well against New York and is 10-1 during his career in Yankee Stadium. As a member of the Orioles in 1996, Wells defeated the Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series -- the only game won by the Orioles in the five-game series.

Wells, who turns 34 next season, went 11-14 with the Orioles. He earned $3 million last year, and would like to sign a three-year contract. The Orioles' preference is to sign Wells to a two-year contract, although they have seemed open to the idea of at least discussing a three-year contract.

If the Yankees do sign Wells, they easily would have the deepest stable of left-handed starters in the majors: Wells would augment a staff that includes Andy Pettitte, Jimmy Key and Kenny Rogers.

Wells also is one of the few solid starting pitchers available in the free-agent pool, a group from which the Orioles hope to pluck two starters. Terry Mulholland would be the best available left-hander.

If Wells signs with the Yankees, it will increase the chances that Orioles closer Randy Myers will be shifted into the starting rotation next season. Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson and Rocky Coppinger will make up three-fifths of the Orioles' rotation, and two spots are open.

Wells' agent, Gregg Clifton, said last week that he had held good talks with the Yankees and Marlins.

Pub Date: 11/18/96

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