According to Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna, Vernon Wells’ locker has been cleared and Wells has said goodbye to teammates. It seems a matter of time before his trade to the Yankees is finalized. A source told me earlier today that the deal is “happening.”
“I’m not at liberty to have any conversations publicly about it yet,” Brian Cashman said. “But I know what you’re asking. There’s a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross to get to a finish line when you’re doing something.”
As for what this means for the Yankees…
In the short term, Wells could be an regular outfielder, or at least semi-regular with whoever else makes the team out of camp — Juan Rivera, Ben Francisco, Brennan Boesch, etc. — but when the Yankees get Curtis Granderson off the disabled list, there shouldn’t be anything but platoon at-bats available for Wells.
As recently as 2011, he hit .284/.320/.531 against left handers, but last year he hit just .227/.298/.373 against them. In 2010 he was an all-star. Last year he played in fewer than half of the Angels games. This could be a lightning-in-a-bottle moment, or it could be a waste-of-a-roster-spot maneuver.
How it affects the Yankees financial plans depends on how much the Angels pay. Wells is owed another $42 million through 2014, so he’s neither cheap nor a one-year rental.
Wells has never played first base, and I was told that the Yankees are not looking at him as a possible Mark Teixeira replacement.