Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports broke the news first on Sunday that the Yankees and Angels were in serious talks to deal for the outfielder.
Sources: Yankees in talks with Angels for outfielder Vernon Wells. Lots of money would go back to New York. Deal could be done today.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2013
Initially, these rumblings all started back on December 15, when Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had said the two teams were in discussions about a potential deal.
Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2012
No trade came around during Christmas time, but a lot has changed since then, especially for the Yankees offense.
The injuries that have hit their offense has been incredible; Curtis Granderson will be out until May, as will Mark Teixeira if he doesn't need surgery.
Derek Jeter will be out the first week of the regular season and Alex Rodriguez will be out until the middle of the summer.
Even though they will get Jeter back, that's four tough injuries for the Yankees to take, which is why they are pulling the trigger on the deal to land Wells.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees will pay just $13 million of the remaining $42 million owed on the deal for Wells.
Sources say the Yankees' share of the Vernon Wells contract will be about $13 million over the last two years of his deal.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 24, 2013
So the Yankees essentially have Wells on a two-year, $13 million deal for 2013 and 2014.
Back in December, I felt the trade made sense for the Yankees to make.
And here in March, I still am in favor of the deal, especially at the price.
For $7.5 million dollars, the Yankees have acquired an outfielder who has more power than the outfielders they signed during the offseason, Matt Diaz, Ben Francisco, Juan Rivera, and Brennan Boesch.
Diaz was already released when the team signed Boesch, and Rivera has been used more as an infielder in the wake of the Teixeira injury.
Wells only played in 77 games for the Angels in 2012 while hitting .230 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI, stats which I know don't jump out at everyone.
With the Yankees, Wells has a very good chance to play every day in their lineup.
He will likely start out 2012 as the primary left fielder, but can be used in center field and right field, plus be a DH against left-handed pitching.
Using Wells as a DH will be a better option than trying to use Travis Hafner, who is much more suited to hit against right-handers at the spot.
And in the Yankees lineup, Wells could have a legitimate chance to hit anywhere from 25-30 home runs and 70-80 RBI if he plays 100-plus games in 2013.
Last season, the Yankees had to scramble to make a trade when they found out Brett Gardner would be out until September, thus landing Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners.
If Garner, Granderson or Suzuki went down with any injury, Wells could immediately step in and be the starter in the lineup.
Wells can still play decent enough defense out in the field, as he is a former three-time Gold Glove winner with the Toronto Blue Jays.
A year ago, the Yankees had Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones as the part-time outfielder and part-time DH bats in their lineup who would pick up the slack.
Now, the Yankees will look to Wells to pick up the slack left in Ibanez and Jones' departures in free agency, both in the field and at the plate.
During the winter, Johnny Damon expressed interest in playing for the Yankees again, but they turned him down.
The reason they did that was Damon could only be used as a DH type and is not a regular outfielder anymore. Plus, he's a lefty hitter and the Yankees have enough of those in their lineup.
Wells gives the Yankees that pop from the right side of the plate of their four outfielders.
If fans are expecting the player Wells once was with the Blue Jays, hitting 30-plus home runs and 110 RBI, they are going to be sorely disappointed because he's not that player anymore.
What fans should expect is a good fourth outfielder who is a very good clubhouse influence and very good teammate that still has pop left in his bat and can play every outfield position.
With the Yankees, Wells has been given one last chance to be a productive player and potentially get the chance to play for the postseason.
Some fans might not like the deal, but honestly, the deal should have happened three months ago.
Trading for Wells and having the Angels pick up most of the deal was a good move to make because he can still be a productive player.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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