Sunday, December 16, 2012
The Yankees and the Angels discussed a possible deal for Wells at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, according to a report Saturday on FoxSports.com.
The Yanks are also prowling the free-agent market in search of a righty bat to complement their all-lefty outfield of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro has agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract that will become official once he takes a physical and some contract language is completed.
The Yankees have interest in Scott Hairston, who hit 20 homers for the Mets last year. They might be a match with the Angels for a trade because the Halos just signed Josh Hamilton and now have a glut of outfielders, meaning the 34-year-old Wells could be available.
Wells is due to make $21 million in both 2013 and 2014, which does not fit into the Yankees’ plan to drop their payroll under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million by 2014. So it’s likely that the Yanks would want the Angels to eat much of the contract. Wells’ contract has a no-trade clause, but he waived it for the trade that sent him from Toronto to Anaheim before the 2011 season.
This is an old report if it’s based on what happened in the winter meetings, so I think it’s more of a due diligence thing than anything with actual substance behind it. Wells is right-handed, which is a need in the OF, so I suppose there’s that. Also at age 35 he’d add more much-needed youth to the Yankees.
That being said, I wouldn’t take Vernon Wells on the Yankees for free. Nor would CAIRO.
He’s mostly played LF the last two years so that’s who I’m comparing him to but it doesn’t really matter. He’d stink at any position.
But wait, what if we only focus on his platoon splits?
That’s not a bad line against LHP. It’s just not really a line that’s worth $42M over the next two years, especially since you aren’t going to get more than 250 PA vs. LHP in a season. He doesn’t make up for it on defense either, projecting around average in the corners and below average in center.
Now we can assume the Angels would pay a large part of his contract, but unless they’re paying the whole thing I have a tough time making a case for Wells especially since he’ll be on the payroll in 2014 and we all know that’s about the worst possible thing for the Yankees.
If the Angels would eat his entire contract without asking for anything in return, you could probably justify giving Wells a look. But if the Angels were going to do that wouldn’t they just release him?
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