As you probably know, Kip Wells has a serious arm problem that is pretty likely to cause him to miss all of 2006. He is signed to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $4.15 million. The Pirates can cut him before March 15 and save all but 1/6 of his salary. His contract is not insured. He will be a free agent after 2006.
Let's say that Wells is indeed out for the season. What should the Pirates do?
Keeping him around might be a nice show of goodwill, but Wells is already a millionaire. He's hardly a charity case. The Pirates might want to eat the contract in order to appear player-friendly so they can help lure free agents and keep their young players, but it seems to me that most players follow the money no matter what, and it might be better to save the dough on Wells in order to have money to follow later.
One of the more interesting ideas I'm seen comes from a message board poster, whose proposal I'm going to change to the following: honor the contract, and get Wells to agree to a one-year extension worth, say, $850,000. That would mean, in essence, that Wells would be signed to a two-year deal worth $5 million. That would be more than he'd be likely to get if the Pirates cut him, I think - after the 2002 season, the Yankees signed Jon Lieber for only about $3.5 million for two years because they knew he wouldn't be able to pitch the first year.
That way, Wells isn't out of work, the Pirates get another year to figure him out, and they probably don't anger any of their current players.
What do you think? Poll inside.
If Wells is going to miss all of 2006 and will presumably be healthy in 2007, what should the Pirates do?
This poll is closed
Keep him and his contract
Honor the contract and sign him to a very cheap extension for 2007; if that doesn't work, cut him