Rumor: Yankees and Angels have discussed a trade for Vernon Wells

vernon-wells

The Angels have extra depth in the outfield since their signing of Josh Hamilton and the Yankees are in need of a right handed hitting outfielder. They seem like a good match.

The two sides talked about a potential deal for Vernon Wells during the Winter Meetings, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, so perhaps they’ll re-visit that.

Wells is notorious for his horrible contract which will pay him $42 million over the next two years. Obviously the Angels would have to pay most of, if not all of, the remainder of that for a deal to even be possible. We’re talking the Angels picking up around $40 million.

Even if the Angels picked up enough of the contract to the point where the Yankees were paying him just the league minimum he might not be the best of fits. They’re looking for a replacement for Andruw Jones — somebody who can play the corner outfield spots and hit against lefties. Wells does have a solid .292/.352/.484 career line against southpaws, but hit just .227/.298/.373 against them last year. He did have a .851 OPS against lefties in 2011 so perhaps they’ll risk that 2012 was just an anomaly.

The problem is that there isn’t an obvious choice to fill Jones’ position. Scott Hairston is available and is coming off a year where he hit .286/.317/.550 against lefties, but the problem is he’s looking for a multi-year deal and save for Ichiro Suzuki they don’t look like they’re handing those out. Then there is Matt Diaz who has historically done very well against southpaws, but he had a bit of a down season last year against them hitting just .269/.329/.410.

So it’s not like the list of potential Jones replacements is huge. Hopefully the Yankees can convince Hairston to take a one-year deal, but so far they haven’t even made an offer. Diaz is probably a better option than Wells too, but the Yankees haven’t exactly gotten what they’ve wished for this offseason. If Hairston and Diaz come off the board they may have no choice but to re-visit their talks with the Angels.

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2 Responses to Rumor: Yankees and Angels have discussed a trade for Vernon Wells

  1. guest says:

    ….why don't they just announce that they are willing to take on all "bad contracts"a…for this year.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Diaz last had a good year in 2009. Hairston's .317 OBP last year against lefties sucks. Wells was a dangerous hitter for years until a wrist injury and then a torn ligament.. I thought Wells might have made sense as part of an A-Roid trade, but by himself I'm note sure. Of course he could easily improve on Jones' numbers if he at all healthy. My main problem with this idea is that there is no way he's part of the future. I would much rather see Mustelier or another young OF given the shot here. But if he's healthy and the Angels pay $40 mil out of the $42 mil this could be a steal.