Vernon Wells officially joined the Yankees this past Tuesday, March 26. In exchange for the left fielder, the Yankees shelled out minor leaguers Exircado Cayones (outfielder) and Kramer Sneed (left handed pitcher) to the Angels.
The addition of Vernon Wells, and the $42 million dollars that is left on his contract, put the Yankees as the team with the highest projected payroll on Opening Day. However, if you read the original Vernon Wells post, you know that the Los Angeles Angels are paying for $28.1 million of his remaining salary. This deal will help the Angels stay under the tax luxury threshold this season, which is currently $178 million. When it rises to $189 million in 2014, this deal will also help the Yankees get under the threshold.
Apparently, joining the New York Yankees has been a sort of dream to Wells. He became a fan of the Yankees when he was in AAA Syracuse in 1999. The team played the Yankee’s farm team in Columbus and he got to play against the infamous Daryl Strawberry.
“I remember the first time I played the Triple-A Yankees when I was 20 years old and [Darryl] Strawberry was on that team,” he said. “It was the first time that I actually got goose bumps playing against another team. From that day, I’ve quietly been a Yankees fan. Obviously not when we played against the Yankees, but every time or any time the Yankees were in the playoffs and I was sitting at home, I was cheering for the Yankees.”
On receiving the news of his trade:
“They called me into the office and said they have a deal in place. When they told me the team, I tried not to smile too big in the office.”
Well, good for him. I’m always excited for players that get to play where they want to play. There’s more good news for Wells: former Blue Jays teammate, Lyle Overbay, has just signed with the Yankees as well! As of right now, both will be starting for the team on Opening Day.
All that aside, I’m personally not thrilled that Wells is part of the Yankees. However, if he plays like he has the past year or two, he’ll be no threat for Boston this year. In the past two years, he’s batted .222. He’s averaged 18 home runs and 47 RBIs a season. He only played 77 games last year after he tore a ligament in his right thumb. Wells’ .230 average, 11 home runs, and 29 RBIs are his career lows. I don’t think the Red Sox will have much to worry about.