The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are closing in on a trade that would send outfielder Vernon Wells and a large amount of cash to the Bronx, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday.
While Wells has a no-trade clause, he informed the teams he would accept a deal to the Yankees, one source told Y! Sports.
At 34 years old, Wells isn't as productive as he was when he was younger. However, with all of the injuries on the Yankees, he can help them out offensively. With Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez out for awhile, the Yankees need some help.
After the news on March 24 that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Derek Jeter could start the season on the disabled list, it doesn't come as a shock that the Yankees would make some type of move.
Even though Jeter might start the season on DL, it looks like it will only be short term. According to the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand:
Cashman says Jeter likely to start season on DL. April 6 now the goal.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) March 24, 2013
Even with Jeter in the lineup, his ankle has to be a concern. Jeter and Robinson Cano can't carry the team offensively, so that is where Wells comes in.
While Wells only played in 77 games last season, batting .230 with 11 home runs and 29 runs batted in, the Yankees outfield options are limited and he appears to be the cheapest option on the trade market.
With the Yankees concerned about the luxury tax kicking in at the start of 2014, the Angels are likely to absorb a lot of money from Wells' contract.
Wells is owed $42 million dollars total through the end of the 2014 season.
Wells is a three-time All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder, but he has struggled as he has gotten older. Still, this is a trade the Yankees need to make if they wish to compete for the AL East title.
Once Granderson returns, Wells can be a productive fourth outfielder, who can also play at the DH spot.
While this trade isn't finalized, CBS Sports' Scott Miller reports that the Yankees are looking over Wells' medical records.
According to the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna, Vernon Wells' locker is getting cleaned out and he addressed the possibility of the trade.
#Angels clubbies removing Vernon Wells' equipment from clubhouse ... Looks like deal getting done.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) March 24, 2013
Vernon Wells said he was "excited" about trade to #Yankees, but deal not 100 percent final. "Still approvals and loopholes 2 jump through."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) March 24, 2013
This trade may not save the Yankees season due to all the injuries, but it is a smart move for Cashman to try. Especially since Wells has looked good in spring training, where he is hitting .361 in 41 plate appearances with four homes runs and 11 runs batted in.
*All statistics are as of March 23
**All statistics are from baseball-reference.com