Updated (Again): Vernon Wells looks to be headed to the Bronx

What in the world is going on this year?

Everyone joked that 2012 was “the end times” and nearly everything that occurred, no matter what it was, was turned into an apocalypse joke – and I’ll admit I made my fair share of them – but my goodness, does it seem like we were all off a year?

Check out these tweets by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:

Vernon Wells? Really?

Is this rock bottom? Please tell me it is because I’m not sure I can take much more.

UPDATE 4:27pm:

UPDATE 7:21pm:

UPDATE 8:00pm:
The Yankees will indeed pay $13 million of the $42 million owed through 2014. This seems incredibly high considering the type of player Wells has been over the last 6 years. There’s still very little we know about the deal, so I’ll hold off on the analysis until we get more information.

UPDATE 8:20pm:
Joel Sherman adds that the Yankees will pay the majority of the $13 million in 2013, in order to save money on the budget in 2014.

Mike Eder contributed to this post

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money and co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast.

About Stacey Gotsulias

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money and co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast.

98 thoughts on “Updated (Again): Vernon Wells looks to be headed to the Bronx

  1. Wait Wait…maybe theyr going to give the Yankees some prospects lol. If this happens I will be honest when Cashmans contract runs out I would let him walk. Not on this move alone hes certainly had his shares of success's and failures but sometimes its time for a change in philosophy and this would be a move that would really hurt the franchise for years

  2. "That's great, it starts with an earthquake Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, B. Cashman is not afraid……."

  3. Theyre talking about it on YES. Trying to put a positive spin on how he used to be a big time player with the Blue Jays. This move would make me nauseas. It would lock up a roster spot that could be taken by one of the many very talented Yankees prospects. And its not like hes in the final year of his contract. Does Cashman want to get fired? What happened to patience? This move makes literally 0 sense. None.

  4. Whatever pain killers the docs gave Cashman for his broken leg they must be strong. Wells hasnt posted an OBP over .300 in 2 years. Im hearing that the Angels would throw in 38 million to get it done. I wouldnt absolutely hate the move if it wasnt for the fact that all the Yankees best prospects who are close to being MLB ready all play the outfield. This isnt just a lateral move it hurts the future of those players simply by having this guy on the roster. Why not try and address 1st base?

  5. Yanks must have liked what they saw from Wells in Spring Training. 13 for 36 with 4 home runs, a double, 2 walks, 2 SB, and 6 SO. That's .361/.390/.722. Small sample size, but there's not much else to like about what Wells has done with the Angels.

  6. I wasn't necessarily thrilled with some of the decisions made by the Yankees over the last few months, but I didn't think anything was horrendous. This move, however, seems inexcusable.

  7. Oh ye of little faith. I wonder what some of you thought when the Yankess signed Colon about 3 years back OR Chavez 2 years back or Andruw Jones the 1st time. My point is if this happens you never know. it would not be the first time that fans thought a player was “washed up” only for that player to resurrect his career for one more go round.

  8. Wait a minute guys. It's a right handed bat that has shown potential this spring and will allow Juan Rivera (if the Yankees want) to play first, and Youk to cover third. Even if that's not the case and Youk still plays first, i don't hate the idea of Wells getting an opportunity as long as the Angels cover a huge chunk of the contract. I don't like Wells, but i also hate how many injury problems the Yankees have had to overcome this spring.

  9. Please someone explain how this makes any sense? Ichiro is here for 2 years I guess they want him to platoon with him for those 2 years. I honestly think Melky Mesa would be better this year. Zoilo Almonte would be better this year. Its a move like this that puts your ass firmly in the hot seat. Wonder what hes giving up?

  10. Tough one to justify unless they just plan on one year and then release him – too many OF prospects in the pipeline to do anything else. Wells may see it as a chance at redemption and come thru for us.

  11. This just in: Yankees recent philosophy stems from organization's trip to Statue of Liberty…

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  12. I hear the deal is Vernon Wells and three magic beans for Ronnie Mustelier,Slade Heathcott,Dellin Betances and a case of oxy

  13. I was so excited that this season despite not fielding a team that has all of its star players aligned, that the Yankees were finally going to allow some of their talent in the minors fill holes until the vets are ready to come back. But they just keep signing old players or trading for old players who are known quantities and hurting the development of their minor leaguers. Minor leaguers who they will desperately need in the coming years. From an organizational standpoint this is a perfect year to see what you have in the upper levels of the minors and the Yankees have plenty of intriguing talented kids. This move is just infuriating. Even if it does work out to me this represents the kind of thinking that is not needed for a team that is clearly in transition for the next few years. A change at the top is needed if this is the mindset.

  14. Cash needs to be fired. Play the young guys we need to start playing them to get young. We are a vet hospital they way we look. They started accepting apps for new retires. Right now we are not winning shit. Strip this team and lock up cano to the contract he wants with a clause if he test positive for any PEDs or steriods you void it. Build around him.

  15. it all depends on what we gave up. If its anything more than a AAAA potential player its a bad move. If not I'll take it. I just don't want him taking a spot from say, Mustelier.

  16. Passan on Twitter at 12:46 PM: "Big factor: How much of $42M owed Wells do Angels pay? Hearing money going back to Yankees is not nearly as significant as one might think."

    This could have been not a terrible deal if the Yanx were getting a large chunk of that money covered and not giving up anything in return. So, yeah.

  17. I think I'll start referring to the Yanks as Gilligan's Islands! They made up of a bunch of cast-offs!

  18. Sources are telling me Tim Salmon will be included in this deal, although Cashman had his eye on Erstad.

  19. I guess there was just going to be too much space under the Hal-dictated $189 million salary cap for 2014.

  20. Ronnier Mustelier has a higher batting average by about 20 points in AAA for the last two years than Vernon Wells OBP the last two years with the Angels.

  21. The salvation army

    This one is in pinstripes
    Trying to bring salvation to
    A number of ageing retreads
    Money is the object
    As they field a team
    That can play regular season games
    Or colorful enough
    For the old timers shindig
    0h those creaking bones

  22. Hi guys,

    Unless the Yankees split up the cash considerations asymmetrically (which is possible) its looking like Vernon Wells would impact their 2014 189 budget. This means that outside of Jeter's player option, in the last 3 seasons the only money they have willingly committed to 2014 are Ichiro and Vernon Wells. Essentially thats a total disaster for a budget conscious team.

  23. Rosenthal reported LA would consume $32 million out of $42 million. Cashman needs to be fired. I remember laughing so hard when the Angels traded for Wells. Never knew this would happen :(

  24. two years ago in 529 plate appearances he had a 248 OBA. last year in 262 PA he had a 279. Why would any rational GM pay the vet minimum, let alone a few million for this guy (or even want him on the team at all) is beyond me.
    Cashman, with an unlimited budget, managed to keep the Yankees in good shape because his big mistakes only cost money. Now, with a limit on what he can spend, he can't keep making the same mistakes.

  25. So now aside from a roster spot and anywhere from 13 – less than 10 million for 2 years depending on which report you listen to, any word on what else Cashman gave up?

  26. Sorry, if the report is true that the Yankees are, in fact, taking on $13M, I will scream. We couldn't keep a solid starting catcher in Russell Martin who would have cost nearly that much over the same 2 year term? Yet, we are taking on a washed up, overpaid, soon-to-be-released player.

    Well done, Cashman & Co. Well done indeed.

  27. It all depends on the money we are getting. Let him play for 1-2 million per while Mesa, Heathcott, Williams, etc. duke it out in the minors for spots on next year's team. If we are paying anything close to the 5m they are reporting the deal is a joke, unless we are getting prospects too.

    Cash is on thin ice.

    Or maybe this is the new 1988 Steinbrenner.

  28. Hey isn't Alfonso Soriano available? He's got a ridiculously overpriced contract and could create more of an inept logjam in the outfield?

  29. @Joelsherman1 12s

    Hearing #Yankees will pay almost all of $13M they r responsible to Wells in '13 so as not to put toward $189M payroll goal in '14

    Hi explaining this. Wells is owed 21 per year for 2013 and 2014. His AAV for luxury tax purposes is 18 per season. If the Yankees decided to pay 12 million of that 21 in 2013 and 1 million in 2014, then for LUXURY TAX PURPOSES they would owe 9 million in 2013 and -2 million in 2014. You read that right, they would basically be receiving a credit to their payroll in 2014. That makes 189 into 191.

    Its still stupid because Vernon Wells sucks and they should be able to get more than 29 million from the Angels, but this is the smartest implementation of their stupid deal.

  30. Eh, I don't think this is as bad a deal as it seems like on the surface… time will tell, but the financial benefits of having an above Replacement level player (which I suppose we will have to see how Well's plays for us) at a $0 or negative AAV payroll tax hit for 2014 wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Again, we don't really know how he will perform, but if he plays even 10% better, or improves his OBP, AND provides financial relief in 2014 because of the structure of the deal… heck, I don't see this as being THAT bad of a deal. Obviously it is a gamble, but it seems calculated. 34 Y.O. is not exactly over the hill territory, he might be rejuvenated by a change in scenery and playing with a bunch of professional veteran teammates. It is a calculated gamble, in my opinion, and worst that happens is they cut him next year, right, if the Angels agree to pay 100% of his salary next year, say, if he is toast, why can't the yanks just cut bait and no harm done except that they would have paid a pretty penny for whatever this year's production will be… Again, if the ownership is willing to commit the dollars this year, why wouldn't this be worth a gamble? It might take a few ABs away from other options, but Girardi can play the hot bat or matchups or whatever, and I doubt this will really take away any youngsters playing time, as they could still get some seasoning in AAA and if they are productive you can bet they will be called up or given a shot next Spring…. Maybe I am off base, but that's my two cents.

  31. Here is the rest of that 8:20pm update:
    Stacey, here is the explanation on why the Yankees are paying the majority of the money in 2013. It's in the last sentence of the piece from Joel Sherman below.

    Yankees close to acquiring Vernon Wells from Angels
    By Mike Axisa from RAB
    8:30pm: Joel Sherman says the Yankees will pay nearly all of that $13M in 2013, meaning Wells will not count towards the $189M payroll limit in 2014. Money assumed in trades does not get spread out according to average annual value for luxury tax purposes.

  32. This is actually incorrect. Money assumed in trades of multiyear contracts does go by the AAV of the deal. You assume the salary for the years you acquire, in a multiyear player's deal every year counts the same. The thing is that cash considerations are flat debits/credits in the year they are paid, which offsets the AAV.

    So the Yankees accepting more cash considerations in 2014 reduces their luxury tax obligation more than in 2013.

  33. He was a 4 WAR player less than 3 years ago. It seems more likely that he is worth 4 WAR (and I am shooting for the stars here) this year than 0 or negative WAR. This seems like a true definition of a low risk (money only? assuming we didn't give up any real prospects) and medium to high potential reward move. As an owner, Isn't this the type of potential "high alpha" type investment that you want to see your GM (portfolio manager) make? Worst case, Wells turns the roster spot into a black hole and gets cut. Best case he becomes a 4 WAR or better player again. Best thing is the Angels are paying for a lot of the risk, so again, I think it is a calculated one. I admit that hoping for anything over 2 WAR from Wells is asking a lot, but "Hey, You Never Know". And other than maybe Casper Wells or some other options that would probably get snapped up before the Yank's get to put a claim in on waiver wire, what else is out there that is a 1-2 WAR player? Slim pickings for true impact bats, and even the most ardent Vernon Wells haters have to admit that he has at one time performed better than just about every other possible option out there. I say Roll The Dice, maybe this time next year everyone is talking about Cashman's saavy pick-up. For me, my expectations for Wells are actually so low that he can really not miss them, he can only beat them. I am expecting 0 WAR, figuring on 1-2 WAR and hoping for 4 WAR. Even if WAR is not the best metric to use, it seems to me on a simplistic basis this has way more of a chance of turning into a steal than it does of being utterly catastrophic. I mean nearly everyone in this blog is saying this deal is catastrophic… but really, is it? It could turn out to be wasted money, sure…. but catastrophic? Unlikely. Much more likely (in my mind) is some type of achievement by Wells that beats these lowly expectations (was he traded for a bag of balls?)… and are those not the incremental gains (a deal beating expectations in your favor) upon which trades by GMs should be measured? Cashman has the money to spend, obviously. We shouldn't hate on him for trying to improve the team given the limited options ownership has constrained him with otherwise (such as the 2014 austerity budget, which I am in favor of, by the way, from a business perspective, but I am not in favor of from a Fan's perspective which is how most people seem to be viewing that budget).

  34. 13 million dollars? This has to be the worst deal Cashman has made (and that's saying something). it reminds me of Mondesi, but in those days the money didn't matter. Why didn't we just keep Swisher? Ichiro is very likely to return to what he was doing the 1100 PAs he did before his late hot streak, and Wells is almost certain to continue to decline. This team is going to be hard to watch for at least this year, and maybe several more (after we trade Austin et al for some more sore armed pitchers).

  35. We got a draft pick for Swisher (even though we haven't used it yet), so if you tell me I can have Wells and a draft pick plus $29M plus some luxury tax relief next year that my owner has been busting my balls about, in exchange for Swisher (essentially). I don't see why that is that bad of a deal. Oh by the way Swisher costs $15M+ in 2014 Wells looks like he will be $0 or negative. Seems like you have to at least think about it. Am I the only one that sees anything positive out of this deal? I'm not even advocating for the deal, I just think we should keep an open mind about the positive aspects of it. Some of which we may not even know yet.

  36. yea i really don't understand this for the probably $9 mil we pay this year for him, plus ichiro's and boesch, why coudn't we just resign swisher? If moneys not an object this season we could have still given swish the same 4 year $65 mil but done like $25 mil this year, $10 in 14, and $15 each for the back two no? I just don't understand the draw here. And why is this the trade and not one for Morneau?

  37. I don't like this deal AT ALL. However, I do have faith that there is reasoning behind it. Still, it doesn't seem like a Cashman move. The has Levine/H&H written all over it.

  38. Not so much terrible, as terribly unecessary. Wells is just not needed.

    Granderson, Gardner, Ichiro, Boesch, Rivera, Mesa, Meullister, Almonte. That's more than enough OF depth between the big leauge club and AAA.

  39. I didn't have a huge problem with this trade when I thought the Yankees would only pay 2-4m per year. The fact that they're paying $13 million is crazy, even if they load it so it doesn't affect $189m. He is no where near worth that amount of money. If he was a free agent, he'd be lucky to get a major league contract. This move is insane. Especially considering they're inactivity this winter.

    Does anyone think Hal took declining attendance into consideration when evaluating the savings in 2014? Because I for one have no intention of being gouged to see this product.

  40. If fans here will excuse me many of you are crying of spilled milk as the saying goes. Complaining about the Yankees not re-signing Swisher or not re-signing Martin. That's history, in the first place when the Yankees made offers to those 2 players no one knew that the Yankees would have some of these injuries now. Second to reason somehow now that the dollars Swisher got from Cleveland is comparable to the money Ichiro and Wells are or will be getting from the Yankees is crazy. As for Martin, everyone loves Martin now in hindsight. Do you remember how pathetic Martin was for roughly 5 of the 6 months of the 2012 season offensively. Third why does what the Yankees are reported to be paying Wells even bother anyone, It's not any of our money. Fourth, since none of us can see into the future even the near future why does everyone assume Wells will be a dog? Fifth, some here are all up in arms about the Yankees not willing to give some of the young guys a shot this year. I may be going out on a limb but they will most definitely get their shot next year with 11 current Yankees becoming FA's for the 2014 season and the injuries that will inevitably befall all MLB teams. How many times have I read here and on other blogs that the problem with the Yankees farm system is that they really don't have any prospects that are ML ready at the upper level. How is it that all of a sudden they have kids/guys in their system that are? That they should use according to fans.
    Yes Wells numbers in 2012 weren't very good but has anyone taken into consideration that he was injured much of 2012 and only played in 77 games/200 plus AB's. And even with that he still showed a lot of power in a NOT so hitter friendly Anaheim Stadium. I would just suggest before we are all ready to burn Cashman at the stake we give this thing a chance to play out.
    One final side note. If anyone here thinks that paying $13MM for 2 years of Wells is crazy, how crazy were the Angles to effectively have paid Wells close to $70MM for just 2 years of service. Also keep in mind if Wells does turn out to be a dog and the Yankees pay him most of that $13MM in 2013 they can always buyout the remainder of what's owed at the end of this year and release him and not have any of the salary effect their 2014 budget. Please accept my apologies for this rather long comment but I honestly felt I needed to say all of this.