Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan has reported that the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are discussing a deal that will send Vernon Wells to New York. Wells has a no-trade clause that he’d have to approve, but sources suggest that the two sides are ironing out details and they expect to complete a deal.
Wells has two years remaining under contract, but is schedule to earn $42 Million over that time frame. Los Angeles is believed to be sending “lots of money” back to New York in a deal, according to Passan. There do not appear to be any other details available, but talks have been confirmed by multiple sources on Twitter. It’s been suggested that the Yankees will only be parting with a “low-level minor leaguer” in the deal.
Coming off an injury shortened season in which he hit just .230/.279/.403 with 20 extra base hits (11 HR, 9 2B) in 262 plate appearances, Wells could still offer some power that is lacking in the Yankees lineup. Wells hit 31 and 25 home runs in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and could be capable of posting similar numbers with his home games coming at Yankee Stadium. However, he’s ventured into a similar category to someone like Adam Dunn – power is the only thing he brings to the table.
Wells doesn’t walk much. He’s not a threat on the bases. He won’t strike out as frequently as Dunn, but the overall package that he brings to the table from an offensive standpoint doesn’t quite match the salary he’s slated to earn.
Fortunately for New York, he’s no longer “needed” in Los Angeles with the emergence of some of the team’s younger outfielders. Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, and Mark Trumbo can more than adequately cover the outfield and that’s before working Josh Hamilton into the mix. Wells is nothing more than an expensive bat off the bench for the Angels at this point, so the opportunity to move him off the roster in order to allow another player to take his place would be appealing. The Angels knew they’d have to pickup a portion of Wells’ salary in order to facilitate a move and they appear willing to do so here, perhaps as much as $34 Million according to the NY Post’s Joel Sherman.
New York will start the season with Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez on the DL. Wells will step in and play left field, hoping to offer up some offense while the team awaits the rest of the lineup (sans Rodriguez) to return.
Update, 4:50 PM – Wells has approved the trade, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.