BOSTON -- A close associate of Red Sox pitcher David Wells confirmed a report in Friday's Boston Globe
that stated the veteran left-hander would like to pitch the 2006 season, perhaps his last in the Major Leagues, on the West Coast.
However, the source noted that it was more a polite request than a demand.
"The bottom line is that this is not a situation where David is kicking down doors saying, 'I demand to be traded.' I'm sure that's not what it is," the source said. "David, for a lot of reasons, would like to finish his career on the West Coast. It would make his life a lot simpler."
Over the last year, Wells moved his family from the Tampa area to a new home in San Diego.
By going back west, Wells -- who pitched for the Padres in 2004 -- would be able to spend more time with his wife and kids.
But the associate stressed that Wells, who did express some dismay about how tough life in the spotlight is in Boston, was hardly disenchanted with being a member of the Red Sox.
"He had a great year in Boston; he really enjoyed the Boston experience," the source said. "The bottom line is that if it can't work out, David will be there for the first day of Spring Training in Fort Myers, ready to go for the Red Sox."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein acknowledged the day after the team was eliminated on Oct. 7 that Wells had conveyed his frustration over a lack of privacy in Boston. At that time, Epstein said he was hopeful Wells would remain with the Red Sox.
"I think the first year in Boston can leave you at the end of the season feeling like you need to take some time off and you need to get away a little bit," Epstein said on Oct. 8. "He was a little bit taken aback by how passionate the fan base was here. You expect a guy that's played in New York to make a seamless transition to Boston. But it was tough on him. He couldn't go out. I think he used the word hermit. We know David doesn't like being a hermit. But this guy is pretty competitive. If you saw the way he pitched down the stretch, I think this guy's got a lot left and the fire still burns. We'll be in touch with him. But he's a guy we'd love to have back."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.