Were it not for the New York Yankees, Vernon Wells still would be a Los Angeles Angel, forever consigned to their dungeon of ill-fated maneuvers. Because the Yankees exist – and because they operate in a vacuum independent from their harrowing reality – the Angels now no longer must stare at a $100 million mistake for two more seasons.I'm confused by this deal myself. Wells has had a good spring, hitting .361 with a double and four homers, but it's spring and we all know that spring training stats basically mean nothing. The guy has been terrible since his move to the Angels and I wouldn't be too confident that he's suddenly going to find the fountain of youth.
Desperation, thy outfit is pinstripes.
The trade that would send Wells and around two-thirds of the $42 million remaining on his contract to the Yankees neared completion Sunday night, only a physical and commissioner's approval left to consummate it. Seeing as the Angels considered Wells sunk cost, the idea they would get anything, let alone savings in the parameter a source said was $12 million to $14 million, made Sunday a massive win for Los Angeles.
This was not one of those win-win trades.
For the Yankees, it was stunning. The steadiest franchise panicked after injuries dismantled its everyday lineup. The team that built itself on plate discipline traded for a 34-year-old outfielder who over the last two years hit .222, couldn't get on base even 26 percent of the time and, if that weren't bad enough, looks fit for Madame Tussauds in the outfield. And the offseason of Scrooge yielded to the spring of perhaps $7 million a year for Vernon Wells, who will fill in for a month or so until Curtis Granderson's return, and then … well, the Yankees seem to be thinking for tomorrow only, so who knows.
"I just wonder where this money was in December," one Yankees official said.
The reaction to the deal across baseball was a mix of wonderment and criticism, for to partake of Wells at this point in his career flashed alarm of which few thought the Yankees capable. Among the injuries to Granderson and Mark Teixeira, the lingering hip problems of Alex Rodriguez and the setbacks to Derek Jeter, the Yankees have endured a more brutal spring than anyone – the sort that left more than one executive on Sunday predicting a last-place finish in the American League East.
Monday, March 25, 2013