Vernon Wells Phillies Rumors: Trade Would Be Colossal Mistake for Aging Team

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Vernon Wells #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim wipes his forehead after reaching first base on an infield single during a break in action in the seventh inning of the MLB game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 13, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Vernon Wells to the Philadelphia Phillies. At least that's what the latest rumors would have you believe.

For Phillies fans, it could be more of a nightmare than a happy thought.

According to Jon Heyman of, Wells is drawing interest from the Phillies, who are looking to add an impact bat from the right side.

With the signing of free-agent slugger Josh Hamilton, the Angels have a logjam in their outfield. With Hamilton, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo expected to be the starters, that leaves Peter Bourjos and Wells as the extras.

Something's gotta give.

It's been no secret to anyone that the Angels want to unload Wells. Recent reports have the New York Yankees interested in adding Wells as well.

Wells' stay in Anaheim has not been pleasant. Over two years, Well has hit just .222 with a .667 OPS.

A thumb injury kept Wells on the disabled list for over two months last season. The transition of Trumbo to the outfield along with the spirited play of Trout kept Wells on the bench for much of the latter part of the season as well.

Add to that the fact that the Angels owe Wells $42 million over the next two seasons, and you have some pretty good reasons why they're so anxious to ship him elsewhere.

However, the Phillies should simply and quietly walk away from this discussion.

Money likely wouldn't be an issue for the Phillies, who are already challenged with a high payroll. The Angels presumably would pony up significant cash to help pay the remaining money on Wells' contract.

The issue is age and production.

With the exception of newcomer Ben Revere, everyone in the starting lineup for the Phillies is over the age of 30. recently discussed the Revere acquisition and how his presence helps the Phillies in terms of his youth and athleticism.

Doesn't acquiring Wells counteract that?

There's no question the Phillies could use some power from the right side to complement lefties Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

They could use some more youth to complement their ages as well.

In addition, Heyman mentioned that the Phillies are looking for a cleanup hitter to hit behind Howard. Wells' .222/.258/.409 slash line over the past two seasons does not scream cleanup, it screams bottom of the order.

Free agent Cody Ross has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Phillies. In perusing various forums and reading writers' comments about Ross, it's obvious that fans don't believe that Ross is the answer.

If they feel that way about Ross, they have to be apoplectic about the possibility of Wells roaming left field at Citizens Bank Park.

This is an idea that the Phillies need to get out of their head. Desperate times do not require desperate measures.

Acquiring Wells qualifies as a desperate measure.


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.


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