The Yankees appear to be on the verge of acquiring former All-Star outfielder Vernon Wells from the Angels, as he will waive his no trade clause to head to the Bronx, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. The deal is expected to be official soon.
Wells, 34, has been a huge disappointment for the Angels after coming over in a trade from Toronto in 2011. In the past two seasons, Wells has hit .222 with 36 homers and 95 RBI in 208 games. He signed a seven year, $126 million extension with Toronto in 2006, and still has $42 million left on his contract.
Passan reports that a large sum of money would be going back to New York. Joel Sherman of the NY Post suspects that the Angels would have to eat $34 million of the remaining money, meaning the Yankees would essentially only be paying $4 million over the next two seasons for Wells’ services.
Wells used to be one of the premier outfielders in all of baseball. From 2002 up until his extension in ’06, Wells averaged a .288 BA with 28 homers and 97 RBIs. For whatever reason since, his play has declined. Couple that with the presence of former Angel Torii Hunter, emergence of Mike Trout and signing of Josh Hamilton, and Wells has since been relegated to a bench role.
Wells’ playing time will increase with the Yankees, as Curtis Granderson is recovering from a broken forearm. Wells also represents that righty outfield bat that has been elusive to GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees all offseason. The three-time Gold Glove award winner has had a strong spring, going .361 (13-for-36) with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
There is no word yet who the Yankees will give up in the deal. Earlier in the offseason, Wells announced he would retire after his contract is up at the end of the 2014 season.
Yankees and Angels dotting I’s and crossing T’s at this point. Vernon Wells has let team know he will accept deal. It will be official soon.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2013