From 1999 through 2001, Wells was a regular September call-up and played in 57 major league games.
In 2002 , Wells was given his first chance to be an everyday player. Although disqualified from Rookie of the Year contention because he had exceeded the 130 career at-bat limit to qualify as a rookie (the award went to teammate Eric Hinske ), Wells proved himself to be one of the game's rising stars. He batted .275 with 23 home runs , 100 RBI and 87 runs while becoming one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.
Wells won his first Gold Glove Award in 2004 , and a second in 2005 .
Wells was selected as a reserve outfielder on the American League All-Star Team and was promoted to the League's starting lineup after an injury to Boston's Manny Ramírez . It was his second appearance in the mid-summer classic.
During the season, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi criticized Wells, as well as teammates Troy Glaus and Shea Hillenbrand , for failure to perform during key situations after two losses to the Kansas City Royals just before the 2006 All-Star break. He followed such criticisms with great play throughout the rest of the year, including a walk-off home run against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera . On September 24, he recorded his 500th RBI in a game against the Boston Red Sox.
At the end of the 2006 season, Wells was awarded his third consecutive Gold Glove Award for outfield defense, along with Torii Hunter , and Ichiro Suzuki . He also signed a back-loaded contract for $126 million over seven years.
In 2007, Wells suffered a shoulder injury early in the 2007 season and had shoulder surgery in September.
On May 8, 2008, Wells suffered a broken left wrist while making a diving catch. He returned on June 7, but later strained his left hamstring on July 9 and missed over a month of the season. Despite the significant amount of time missed to injury, 2008 otherwise represented a return to form for Wells as he finished the year hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in just 108 games.
During spring training in 2009, Wells suffered another injury, a strained left hamstring which kept him out for several weeks. At the beginning of the season Wells batted fourth in the lineup and was playing center field. He struggled with consistency at the plate, and was subsequently dropped from the fourth spot in the lineup before the All-Star break. Though he stole 17 bases, Wells finished the year with some of the worst numbers of his career, batting .260 with only 15 home runs and 66 RBI and finishing with an OPS near .700. During the season, he received significant criticism from the press regarding his large contract.
Wells began 2010 at a promising pace, hitting four home runs with eight RBI in the first series. He continued to play well, hitting .337 with eight home runs and 16 RBI in April. On April 7 he had a multi-home run game against the Rangers, his first since September 28, 2008. On June 27, Wells hit a two-run home run that made Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies , Major League Baseball's all-time leader in home runs allowed, with 506. On July 5, 2010, Wells was named a reserve for the 2010 MLB All-Star Game , along with teammates José Bautista and John Buck . Wells was also a participant in the Home Run Derby , when Chris Berman predicted that Wells, whom he nicknamed the "Canadian Breeze", would carry away the title. Wells ended up hitting two home runs in the first round.
At the end of the season, Wells had 31 home runs, 88 RBI, and an .847 OPS, making the 2010 season his best since he signed his contract extension in 2006. He finished the year batting .273, with 161 hits in 590 at bats, giving him over 1,500 hits in his career.
Angels' owner Arte Moreno insisted on the trade, and reportedly told Tony Reagins , the general manager , that he would be fired if he did not acquire Wells within 24 hours.
Wells switched to number 12 as number 10 is retired by the Yankees for Phil Rizzuto . On May 8, 2013, Wells played third base for the first time in his career. He then played second base for the first time on May 15. On July 26, Wells changed his uniform number from 12 to 22 to give to Alfonso Soriano , who had been reacquired from the Chicago Cubs . On August 5, 2013, Wells made his first start and appearance at first base.
In 130 games for the Yankees, Wells hit .233 with 11 home runs in 2013.
He has two sons, ages 9 and 12 as of May 2014.
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