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Would Wells waive no-trade clause?
Wells hasn’t played since May 20 while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. The Angels have the second-best record in baseball during that span, thanks in large part to strong production from their outfield: Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos.
If all four stay healthy, there’s a chance Wells won’t have much of a role once he’s ready to come back at the end of July. That raises the possibility of a trade. But Wells doesn’t sound as if he’s preparing to waive his full no-trade clause in order to find more playing time elsewhere.
“I prefer to stay here,” he told FOXSports.com on Thursday before the Angels and Blue Jays played at Rogers Centre. “I love being here. The guys are awesome. We have the potential to be really good for a long time.
“I haven’t been thinking about (the possibility of a trade).”
Wells, 33, didn’t completely rule out the possibility that he would allow a trade. But it probably would require an ideal fit — personally and professionally — for Wells to consider a move. Wells lives in the Dallas area during the offseason and has young children.
The Dodgers, who are looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder, could offer Wells the chance to play for a contending club without moving his family during the season. The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds are looking for players of Wells’ profile, although it’s unclear if they have interest.
“I’ve learned not to worry about things out of my control,” he said. “All I can control is getting this thing healthy. I get to play a game for a living. You enjoy the fact you get to do that. You let them (the front office) do what they have to do.”
The Angels would need to kick in a substantial amount of cash to move Wells. He has more than $50 million left on a contract that doesn’t expire until the end of the 2014 season.
Yet, Wells has value at the right price. He had a solid .845 OPS over the 13 games preceding his injury. His power numbers would jump in a smaller ballpark — like those in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Wells said he expects to begin light baseball activity, including swinging and throwing, next Tuesday.
“I started swinging the bat well, feeling more like myself, and then this happened,” Wells said. “You’ve got to remember where you were and try to get back there as soon as possible.”