Yankees close to finalizing a trade for Vernon Wells, and other notes


The Yankees and Angels are discussing a deal that would send Vernon Wells to the Bronx for a low-level prospect with the Angels picking up most of the $42 million he’s owed over the next two seasons, according to Jeff Passan, Mark Feinsand, and David Waldstein.

The deal isn’t official yet, but a source told Feinsand that it, “will get done,” possibly as soon as tonight and definitely by tomorrow. Wells has a no trade clause, but has already cleaned out his locker and said his goodbyes. Once the two sides come to an agreement, Wells would still have to pass a physical and MLB would have to approve it because of the amount of money involved.

Ken Rosenthal hears that the Angels will pay at least $32 million and Joel Sherman speculated that it would have to be at least $34 million.

Wells, 34, did have a nice run from 2003-2006 where he hit .292/.344/.509 and played great defense in center field, but those days are long gone. He hit a pathetic .230/.279/.403 in 262 plate appearances last year. Against lefties he hit .227/.298/.373 and righties .232/.270/.417. So he sucks from either side of the plate. In 2011, Wells hit .284/.320/.531 against lefties so perhaps they’re trying to recapture that.

His last strong season was in 2010 where he hit .273/.331/.515. It is highly unlikely that he could return to that level, but perhaps he can at least be better than he was over the last two seasons with the Angels.

Wells plays all three outfield positions with an overall 1.3 UZR last season. He’s best in left field though where he had a 2.0 UZR last season. He barely played right, but he was poor defensively when he did and he’s bad out there in center field. So if the Yankees keep him in left they should at least be getting decent defense, and if he can even manage a .240/.290/.460 line while doing so he could be a useful piece.

Obviously the biggest thing involved here is the money. If the Yankees are paying close to the major league minimum then it’s worth it to give him a shot as he’s basically just a replacement over Ben Francisco. If the Yankees are even paying as much as $4 million over the next two years it starts getting harder to justify this deal. Any more than that and you wonder why they don’t just use Melky Mesa.

• The Yankees are also said to be “poking around” on infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, who was released by the Phillies today. Betancourt had a -8.2 UZR in 57 games last season. Not a large sample size, but an ugly number still.

• Derek Jeter DH’d in a minor league game. He was not running hard at all and is sitting out again today. Brian Cashman admitted that he’s going to start the season on the DL, but that they’re hopeful to have him back by April 6.

• Mariano Rivera has been dealing with “severe” headaches for the past two weeks. He was sent for tests, but Cashman said the team wasn’t concerned it was something serious.

• Brett Gardner left Saturday night’s game with a stomach ache. Joe Girardi said it’s no big deal.

• More cuts: Addison Maruszak, Jose Pirela, and Walter Ibarra.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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10 Responses to Yankees close to finalizing a trade for Vernon Wells, and other notes

  1. carl S says:

    Another stupid move but totally in keeping with the Yankee philosophy of playing old washed up players.

  2. Joe Palma says:

    I think its a good move, better than having Andruw Jones.

  3. Per Buster Olney, the Yankees will pay about $13 million over two years for Vernon Wells.

    A huge overpay IMO and shocking considering they couldn't afford Chavez, Martin, Torii Hunter, Justin Upton.

  4. olie says:

    Can he catch?

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    The only reason to like Wells is if he is almost free, or if they were sending a bad contract to Anaheim, such as A-Fraud. But to acquire him under any other condition is foolish, especially since he's got 2 more years on his contract. I'd much rather see Mesa in LF, and Mustelier at 3B, then this constant dumpster diving.

  6. Dante says:

    Mo's got severe headaches because he looks around and see's how this team is going to suck and he knows he should have just retired.

  7. Michael R. says:

    A big mistake if they give up a prospect. I have never seen a team so infatuated by old players.

    • Whomever they give up won't be anything big. It's actually because the Yankees don't want to give up any decent prospects at all that they went out and got Wells. He's the only player they could get without giving up a real prospect.

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