Yankees acquire Vernon Wells in trade
Wells, 34, is owed salaries of $21 million in each of the next two seasons. Under the terms of the trade, the Yankees will be obligated to pay $13.9 million of that remaining $42 million obligation over the next two seasons, with the Angels covering the rest, according to reports.
Of that $13.9 million, the Yankees will pay Wells $11.5 million in ’13 and $2.4 million in ‘14, an accounting maneuver giving them flexibility for 2014, when they want to be under the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million.
Wells waived his no-trade clause. The Angels receive minor league outfielder Exircado Cayones and minor league left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed along with the cash considerations.
Wells, acquired from the Blue Jays for catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera on Jan. 21, 2011, has been a bust with the Angels, batting .222 with a .667 OPS in 791 plate appearances. However, he has been better against left-handed pitching during that time, batting .266 with a .794 OPS.
The Yankees probably hope that Wells’ favorable spring training statistics carry into the regular season and prop up their beleaguered offense, which is likely to be without Derek Jeter on Opening Day. Wells had a .361 batting average and 1.112 OPS in 14 Cactus League games this year.
Mark Teixeira, the Yankees’ injured first baseman, tweeted Sunday: “Vernon Wells joining the #Yankees? Great guy who will be a big addition to our club.”
The Yankees were short on outfielders and offense in general after losing Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez to free agency and Curtis Granderson to a broken forearm. Rivera, Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch are among the other outfielders in camp, but Rivera and Francisco are on minor league deals and Boesch has minor league options remaining.
The Yankees and Angels first discussed a deal involving Wells at the winter meetings.