He saw it in the continuity the Angels' offense has with Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Torii Hunter in the outfield; in the numerous articles written about his shrinking role on the team; and perhaps even in the removal of his big banner in front of Angel Stadium, replaced by one of Trumbo.
Just in case, though, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had a chat with Wells before he left on his current Triple-A rehab assignment, which will last at least a week as he recovers from a torn ligament in his right thumb. He told him about the new role that awaits him -- starting mainly when Kendrys Morales sits against a left-hander, or to give Hunter a day off here and there -- and he believes Wells is on board.
Happy? Probably not.
Accepting? Maybe so.
"I think he wants to contribute, he wants to make us a better team," Scioscia said. "Right now, everyday at-bats aren't there for him. He understands that.
"We'll look at it when that situation happens. We're still a little bit away. A week in this game could be a lifetime."
Especially this time of year, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline only 10 days away. The Angels are in search of pitching -- for the rotation and the bullpen -- but one name who has been in the rumors lately is Morales, who's appealing to teams in search of offense and, if dealt, could free up more playing time for Wells and his massive contract.
Wells' return can also have an effect on young center fielder Peter Bourjos -- a potential trade chip who has found it difficult to get playing time even without Wells.
Pretty soon, the Angels will have five outfielders, and two of them will be accepting far lesser roles than they're accustomed to.
Something may have to give.
"Any time there's more depth, it's tough for an individual player fighting for at-bats, but it makes you stronger as a team," Scioscia said. "We're certainly going to do everything we can to keep everyone with some sort of timing and be able to contribute."