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 is co-host of the It's About The Yankees, Stupid podcast. When she's not blogging about baseball, she's blogging about the New York Knicks and when she's not doing either of those things, she's tweeting.

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

  1. Michael

    No way. No. Freaking. Way. This is a joke.

  2. Please stab me in the eye. Both of them.

  3. Michael

    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

  4. oldshiftyeyes

    With any luck, Wells will block the trade.

  5. Vengeance74

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

    • Brilliant.

    • srosegots

      Hilarious.

  6. steve

    I hear they are throwing in this this kid named Trout.

    • Michael

      The Yankees would send Trout down to AA to get more seasoning. Besides you know what your getting with these veteran players. Cashman can trust them. Cashman says his plan is to put Trout in AA with Tyler Austin and Slade Heathcott so they can all come up together. Get acquainted….this is seriously a mind numbingly dumb move if he does this. Angels would seriously have to give the Yankees prospects to take him off their hands if im the GM

  7. Michael

    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.

  8. NoMaas

    Maybe then send us $60M to cover the $42M remaining on his contract??

    • NoMaas

      Seriously though whats the minimum of that $42M they'd have to send back? $38M?

  9. Michael

    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?

  10. Mike Eder

    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.

    • Andrew

      If the Yankees are making roster decisions based on spring training numbers, things are much, much worse than anyone possibly imagined.

      • Scout

        Amen.

  11. oldshiftyeyes

    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.

  12. uyf1950

    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.

    • Jacques

      Colon was signed on minor league deal and Chavez and Jones were signed cheap on one year deal. Wells have TWO years and $42 million dollars remaining. Yes, LA will eat some of them but we already have a glut in the outfield which includes young players with moderate potential. This move makes no sense especially if Yankees give C-level prospect(s) or above in return.

      • uyf1950

        My friend none of the young outfield prospects are really expected to contribute this season. The ones with the greatest potential really aren't expected to be ML ready until the 2015 season. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by glut for this year at least. Who Mesa? I know some fans here like him but he's hardly a strong candidate for the team. With Tex being out Rivera will in all likelihood be the starting 1st baseman. Who else Mustelier he's a defensive nightmare. The Yankees need to replace some of the HR power they are without right now and Wells potentially gives them that. Most if not all of the other candidates you think are possible in my opinion just don't.

        • Jacques

          Francisco, Boesch, Gardner, Granderson, Ichiro, Juan Rivera, Wells… little too much IMO

        • Michael

          Brennan Boesch was a better player more recent than Wells and requires much less of a committment. Hes also 27 so he will be entering his prime and comes with several minor league options. What about Tyler Austin? Hes in AA. Slade Heathcott is in AA. Ramon Flores is in AA. Zoilo Almonte is in AAA. If they do really well they could rise quickly especially Zoilo and Austin. And a lot of scouts says Mustelier can play an average 3rd base which is probably his best defensive position but thats a different conversation. I just dont think with the way the franchise is heading this is the right move. Especially not for 2 years

  13. mcmastro

    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.

    • Michael

      Rivera was already going to play first and Youk play 3rd. Gardner in CF Ichiro in RF. I would rather have Melky Mesa in CF and keep Gardner in LF. Id rather have Ichiro in LF Gardner in CF and Boesch in RF. Id rather have Zoilo Almonte in RF Gardner in CF Ichiro in LF. I would rather have any single readily available alternative to what just happened.

  14. Michael

    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?

  15. Tim Sampson

    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.

  16. Michael

    Wells has apparently cleaned out his locker. The deal is done

    • This comment has officially ruined my day. Thank you :/

  17. Steve

    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!"

  18. Vengeance74

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

    • Michael

      hahaha and some cheeseburgers. "I got these cheeseburgers mannnn"

  19. Michael

    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.

  20. brian

    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.

    • papa

      the only problem with this is if he is on PED's he will stop because he is guaranteed his money and his production will drop

  21. steve

    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.

    • Michael

      Its a lose lose move in my opinion. Like I said above even if it works out its a bad move. To me this move isnt about the results its about the logic behind the move. This is not the kind of move a team like the Yankees shoudl be making. In fact its the exact opposite of what the Yankees should be making. This move doesnt solve anything, it complicates things and hurts the overall organization.

      Unfortunately Mustelierprobably isnt going to have a spot because Cashman loves old veterans so instead of letting Youk play 1st (and helping him stay healthy throughout the season) and playing Mustelier play 3rd (where he played most of his career in Cuba and scouts have said hes better than people think at 3rd) they will go with Juan Rivera, a right sided platoon DH who sucks defensively. Its this mindset that instead of plugging in a guy like Mustelier and seeing what he can do for a couple months theyd rather go with juan Rivera. Instead of letting Zoilo Almonte, Brennan Boesch, or Melky Mesa play the outfield theyd rather gamble on an overpaid old damn near useless veteran in Vernon Wells a guy who everyone said was untradeable and laughed at the Angels for taking him on. Well hes even worse now so whose got the egg on their face?

  22. Mike

    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.

  23. Phil C

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

  24. Jman

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

  25. Scout

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

  26. Michael

    This is an embarrassing move

  27. Michael

    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.

  28. e nadel

    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

  29. jerkblog

    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.

  30. Jacques

    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 :(

  31. oldpep

    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.

  32. Michael

    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?

    • His soul? Future? Reputation?

      • Michael

        Hopefully his position with the Yankees. This is the kind of thing come contract time the Yankees brass will have to look at and say yup…you did a great job for us for a long time. But we need to move in another direction. Someone who knows how to build up and use a farm system, not just talk about it

    • Jacques

      His job

  33. 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.

    • Sabrina

      Yes it makes me wonder why we didn't sign Martin also. Is this a desperate move to put fans in the stands? Because no way do I go to see old man wells lol

    • Jacques

      2 year $13 million = Vernon Wells = Ichiro's contract

      Well done, Cashman & Co.

  34. Doomfromabove

    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.

    • Michael

      If only they could duke it out for a spot on next years team. Except we have Wells and Ichiro on that team as well.

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

    • Chris

      Soriano would be a god send compared to Wells, though the Yankees are likely giving nothing of value to the Angels and won't be eating any money next year which wouldn't be the case with the Cubs. But there is no comparison between the two, Soriano would actually be a pretty big help to us at this point. Wells' last two seasons make Soriano's last two years look like MVP numbers.

      2011- .244/.289//.469, .326 wOBA, 101 wRC+
      2012- .262/.322/.499, .350 wOBA, 116 wRC+

      Even with 2011 being an awful year OBP wise for Soriano he at least managed to slug enough to have an average season.

  36. jerkblog

    @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.

  37. 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.

    • Chris

      I agree it's not as terrible a move as was first portrayed with the fact that he won't be counting toward the 2014 cap, however I'd put any kind of bounce back as close to impossible as anything in baseball can be. I mean if you look at his last 4 years the change from the "change of scenery" he got going to LAA was getting worse.

      2009- .260/.311/.400, 84 wRC+
      2010- .273/.331/.515, 126 wRC+
      2011- .218/.248/.412, 79 wRC+
      2012- .230/.279/.403, 88 wRC+

      He's been well below average with the bat 3 of his last 4 years, I think the overwhelmingly likelihood is that he once again posts a wRC+ between 79 and 88. About the best I would be hoping for at this point is a OBP in the low .300 range and a .400 SLG%, which would be a vast improvement from his last two season in the OBP department.

  38. uyf1950

    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.

  39. jerkblog

    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.

    • Then why are all the media outlets reporting it that way? I've been reading tweets and blogs all night – everyone is saying the same thing…

      • jerkblog

        Because they don't read the CBA and don't know anything. Beat writers write about baseball, not about the business of baseball. The CBA states the information clearly. They can also know the gist of the situation but express it poorly. Its true that the Yankees will only be taxed on the '~13 million' they are stepping up to pay, but not all of it and not for the reasons being bandied about.

        I explain it here with the CBA citations: http://riveraveblues.com/2013/03/passan-yankees-i

  40. 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).

    • Chris

      I don't really understand the logic that it's "more likely that he is worth 4 WAR (and I am shooting for the stars here) this year than 0 or negative WAR"…

      He's been worth a combined 1.1 fWAR and a -0.3 bWAR over the past two seasons, that's much more relevant to 2013 than what he did with the Blue Jays in 2010, especially when you consider he had a 0.2 fWAR/0.5 bWAR in 2009 with the Blue Jays. So in three of the last four years he has failed to post a WAR, in either format, higher than 0.6 yet he's more likely to be a 4 WAR player than than that player again?

      Or by "0 or negative" do you literally mean 0.0 or negative? Because in that sense I would still say he's more likely to be the negative WAR player than a 4 WAR player but I understand the point. He is more likely to be of some help than he is to be a complete negative to the team overall. It's however overwhelmingly likely he's going to be a sub 1 WAR player based on his last 4 years of production.

      Overall I actually agree with you on the tone of your comment, at best it being just a non move that doesn't effect 2014. Most likely the offense is going to start the season so bad any add is a possible positive, and with terrible alternative already a higher upside limited risk gamble isn't an awful move. I just think you are a little too eager to believe a 2-4 WAR player is possible in this deal when 3 of the last 4 years say it just isn't going to happen.

  41. oldpep

    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).

  42. 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.

    • Chris

      Wait how are we getting 29 million dollars? Aren't the Angels just paying 29 million remaining on his contract? We don't actually get that, we just don't inherent the debt.

  43. joefo29

    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?

    • Swisher declined our 1 year Qualifying Offer. He wasn't going to sign for 1 year. So he was going to hurt the team's budget in 2014. I believe that was a very large reason why he was not signed. Plus they got a draft pick back.

    • Chris

      The luxury tax doesn't work that way, they purposely go off of AAV, or annual average value of the contract, on free agent deals so you can't front load the deal and get around the purpose of the tax penalty.

      "And why is this the trade and not one for Morneau?"

      Because they are nothing a like in terms of deals? The Angels were looking to throw Wells away, therefore they were willing to eat a large amount of the deal and not take anything of value back. Not only are the Twins not shopping Morneau, they wouldn't be paying any of his salary, and they would want top prospects back. He was never a realistic target and anyone in the media or blogosphere suggesting he is simply isn't being reasonable, especially with our budget restraints. Though even without the looming luxury cap of 2014 I highly doubt a deal would be brokered between the two given his health concerns and discrepancy that would lead too in his value between both teams.

  44. OldYanksFan

    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.

  45. Fredweis

    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.

  46. Mike

    According to fangraphs, he was worth $2.2 and $2.5 million each the last 2 seasons.

  47. Dans

    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.

  48. uyf1950

    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.

    • Andrew

      There are really two points here.

      1. Vernon Wells is not part of the solution even if he were available at the major-league minimum. Here's his OPS+ for each of the past four years: 86, 125, 84, 91. In other words, Wells has been 10% or more below league average as a hitter for each of the past three years. Now, if you're a superior defensive shortstop, maybe that's acceptable. But as a middle-of-the-lineup LF with no defensive value, that's not helping.

      Of course, the Yankees *didn't* get Wells for the major-league minimum; they got him for $13 million *and* whatever they gave up in trade (which is presumably minor, but you never know). That's why people are (rightly) up in arms about it.

      2. You're wrong on the money. If a team could just "buyout" the remainder of a player's salary and have that "buyout" money not affect the luxury tax threshold, the Blue Jays would have done that five years ago and the Angels would have done so two years ago. It's correct — but irrelevant — that the Angels were even stupider than the Yankees, but the last time I checked, the goal wasn't "be less stupid than the Angels," the goals was to win ballgames.

      • uyf1950

        My friend the Blue Jays might have done it had they not owed Wells over $100MM for the last 5 years of his contract. And the Angles owed Wells over $80MM. That's a lot different then buying out 1 year of a players contract for something less then $5MM. Please post the appropriate part of the CBA to back up your point about a team not being able to "buyout" a players contract and it's effect on the LT for a team. Otherwise my friend you will have have to forgive me if I'm skeptical of that.

        • Andrew

          That's not how it works. You claimed the Yankees can game the luxury tax, so you're the one who has to provide evidence for it.

  49. williamjtasker

    Might as well see if Bobby Bonilla wants to play while we're at it.

  50. Anders

    Wait, what? I thought April's Fool is next week!?!

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