When I woke up this morning I felt like the Vernon Wells trade was just a (bad) dream. Unfortunately when I opened Google Reader the stark reality hit me. Vernon Wells is a Yankee and somehow, despite claiming they were poor all offseason, they are paying $13 million over two years for him, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
The deal was so asinine that one Yankees official pondered, “I just wonder where this money was in December.”
That’s the thing that makes this trade so bad. We’d heard all offseason how the Yankees have no money. They couldn’t afford Russell Martin despite the fact that they had no replacement for him and there was none on the market either. They couldn’t afford Torii Hunter despite the fact that he would be a cheaper solution to replace Nick Swisher (and of course they couldn’t afford Swisher).
The Yankees are justifying this deal by claiming that the WBC is responsible for at least $7-$8 million (or more if he doesn’t play this season) of Mark Teixeira‘s salary since he was hurt working out with Team USA. They also have pointed to the fact that by paying all of the $13 million Wells is owed in 2013 none of the remaining $29 million will count against the 2014 luxury tax.
However, spending that Teixeira money on Wells is like finding $20 on the ground and then buying $20 worth of spoiled milk. The fact that his money doesn’t count against next year’s cap is hardly comforting given some of the one-year deals they could have made earlier this offseason, but passed on.
The bottom line is that this is a bad deal and it looks like a panic move made by an amateur front office. At this point I find it hard to believe that Brian Cashman was behind this deal. It seems like a trade just for the sake of making a trade which is something Cashman has repeatedly warned against. However, if it is his doing it could go down as one of the worst moves he’s made as GM of the Yankees.
Curtis Granderson will be back by mid-May, but the Yankees will still have spent money that could have been much better allocated. Heck, it didn’t even need to be allocated at all as they could have hung on to it until the trade deadline and just used Boesch or Mesa in April.
No. This trade wasn’t just a bad dream. It’s more like a sign that the Yankees are in full blown panic mode with no plan to right the team.