Wells will be the 13th different starter this season for the Padres, who optioned Andy Parrino to Triple-A Tucson after Monday's 8-7 victory to make room for Wells on the roster. The right-hander still lives in Houston and was already in the Padres' clubhouse at Minute Maid Park on Monday afternoon.
Wells hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009 with the Reds. After being released by Cincinnati before the 2010 season, he briefly pitched for the independent Long Island Ducks.
In 2011, Wells was unofficially retired, not by choice. He even watched a few games at Minute Maid Park, but said he didn't enjoy watching others play the game he felt he was still capable of playing at a Major League level.
"This is a pretty unique business," Wells said. "It's not like an insurance salesman or a car salesman where you can get on with another company."
After spending Spring Training with the White Sox, Wells was released on April 16. He signed with the Padres on May 8 and was sent to Tucson. In seven starts, Wells was 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA. He had an 8.22 ERA in his last three starts, earning a loss in all three games.
Manager Bud Black said the Padres scouts and Triple-A staff all said Wells still has Major League stuff and just needs to make pitches like anybody else. Wells also brings 11 years of Major League experience.
"He's pitched in Major League games, and he's pitched in a lot of them," Black said. "The expectation is you hope for the best, for him and the club. And he goes out and pitches a good ballgame."
Wells will look to avoid his 100th career loss on Tuesday. He is 67-99 in the Majors with a 4.71 ERA. He said he definitely will have family and friends in the crowd.
"To be here now, it's a good story, but it remains to be seen what the end chapter looks like," Wells said.