The signing does make sense in that David Wells doesn't walk anyone (the Sox brass loves that) and if he succeeds then it would really tweak the Yankees and George Steinbrenner in particular (and that is always good for the soul).
Gordon Edes and Bob Holher report that the terms are:
...a two-year contract for a guaranteed $8 million, plus an additional $10 million in performance incentives that could make the total package worth $18 million.In another column, Edes points out that Wells hasn't been exactly stellar pitching at Fenway - going 10-10 with a 4.87 ERA but he neglects to mention that any start in Fenway is usually against one of the top offenses in baseball and now Wells will have that offense putting numbers up for him and not against him.
Under the terms of the agreement, Wells would receive a $3 million signing bonus and have a base salary of $2.5 million in 2005 and 2006. He also would have the opportunity to earn an additional $5 million in performance bonuses in each year of the contract.
In recent history Wells has been much better at Fenway - in the last 3 years Wells has had 6 starts at Fenway with just a 2.19 ERA. (In comparison - Curt Schilling had a 3.45 ERA at Fenway last year.)
Maybe the best thing about the signing is that it frees up money at other positions. The Red Sox were probably thinking they had to spend $8 million for a number 3 starter and now they get Wells for half that price. That frees up $4 million to sign a decent short stop.
I like this deal mainly because Theo Epstein likes this deal. In Theo I trust.