Monday, April 1, 2013

Outfielder Vernon Wells Now Officially A New York Yankee

The New York Yankees have added some outfield depth by acquiring 34-year-old Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels. The trade for Wells had been rumored for some time and it’s now been made official. In return, the Yankees sent a couple of minor league players out west in Kramer Sneed and Exircardo Cayones. The Yankees expect Wells to open the season with them in left field.

Wells said he’s thrilled to be joining such a historic franchise like the Yankees. He said New York is the center of baseball and he can’t think of a better way to end his career. Joe Girardi, the Yankees general manager, said Wells will have the opportunity to play every day in New York. He added that he knows how good of a player Wells is from his days as a Toronto Blue Jay. The GM said Wells has speed and power and is also good defensively.

It took a while for the trade to be worked out since it had to be approved by Major’ League Baseball’s Commissioner's Office. The reason for the delay was the fact that the Angels will still be paying most of Wells salary up until his contract ends after the 2014 season. The paperwork had to be straightened out and it was announced that Los Angeles will be paying most of the $42 million that is left on Wells’ contract. The Yankees will only have to pay about $13 million to the outfielder for the next two years.

New York will take care of most of the salary this season which will allow Los Angeles to remain below the league’s luxury-tax limit of $178 million. Los Angeles will then pay most of next year’s wages. The Yankees had some money to spare since the injured Mark Teixeira's wages are going to taken care of by an insurance policy after he was hurt in the recent World Baseball Classic.

Wells didn’t really enjoy his time in Los Angeles, especially last season as he was deemed to be a part-time player. He appeared in only 77 games in 2012 and batted .230 with just 11 home runs. His career numbers are much better as his overall average is .292 and he’s belted 259 home runs, which includes his time in Toronto and two years in Los Angeles. Wells has also been named an American League All-Star three times and has a trio of Gold Glove Awards. He played with the Blue Jays between 2002 and 2010 before being dealt to the Angels.

The Yankees released David Adams, an infielder, to make room on the team’s 40-man roster for their new acquisition. The players they shipped out to Los Angeles were two minor leaguers. The 21-year-old Cayones played in Class A Staten Island and the 24-year-old pitcher Sneed played last season with Class A Tampa.

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