Rosenthal: Yankees, Angels talked Vernon Wells


11:23am: Jon Heyman says the Angels would need the eat “almost all” of the $42M owed to Wells through next season for the Yankees to take him. They aren’t close to a deal or anything.

10:00am: Via Ken Rosenthal: The Yankees and Angels discussed Vernon Wells at the Winter Meetings. The Halos have a glut of outfielders after signing Josh Hamilton, though they prefer to move Wells or (non-outfielder) Kendrys Morales rather than Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo.

Wells, 34, has been abysmal during his two years with the Angels, hitting just .222/.258/.409 (82 wRC+) in 791 plate appearances. The Yankees were presumably looking at him for his right-handed bat, which he’s used to hit .266/.313/.481 (119 wRC+) against southpaws the last two seasons*. Wells is owed $21M in both 2013 and 2014, and Rosenthal says the Angels know they’ll have to eat most of that to facilitate a trade. If the Halos take a fringy prospect in return and eat enough salary to make him a ~$2M per year player, it would be merely bad instead of horrible.

* That’s better than I expected, but here are his wRC+’s by year from 2009-2012: 55, 67, 134, 88. One of those things is not like the other.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Blake says:

    Daniels: boy Wells sucks …. Do you want him?

    Cashman: Uhm no but I will haul him to the glue factory for a small processing fee

  2. Blake says:

    I mean Dipoto….sorry …

  3. BeanTooth says:

    Could be that the most exciting thing player-wise for fans over the foreseeable future will be this year’s amateur draft. With three first round-ish picks, we’ll at least get to do a little dreaming about what might be, rather than focus on Vernon Wells and Youk.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s terrible when your 3B is expected to miss 1-3 months and your team replaces him with a top 10 3B. I really feel for you.

      Even worse when your team has bench players, rather than 5 starting OF. I really feel for you, man.

      • Blake says:

        Youkalis is a top 10 3B? Maybe 3 years ago…..

        • Ted Nelson says:

          In 2011 he had the 3rd highest fWAR at the position. 5th highest wOBA.

          The notion that all players will decline in some sort of straight-line fashion is a fallacy. Bill James has him projected for a .357 wOBA in 2013. That would have put him at 7th among 3B in 2012. Certainly James’ projection is not exactly what he’ll do next year, but it’s a better projection than just assuming that once a player has a bad year his career is on a downhill or at best flat trajectory from there.

          • turd surfer says:

            I’m not saying I disagree with the other stuff, but there are plenty of guys that have fell off of a cliff performance wise. Pretty good guys too.

            Bill James is also notorious for being optimistic too.

      • JU says:

        Ted, excellent zing on The Youk front, but Vernon Wells is useless. I’d prefer letting Melky Mesa or Z. Almonte fake it than waste time and money on Wells. What’s the point?

        People complaining about Youk, however, are wildly misguided.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I don’t want Vernon Wells particularly, but if he’s cheap enough he might be a better option than Mesa or Almonte. Plus you still have those guys behind him, and they can earn his spot. Wells is a below average MLB hitter, but there’s certainly a chance Mesa and Almonte are worse than that.

          Basically, I hope there’s a better option but he might not be the worst Plan F or something if it’s for $2 mill per with no real prospect cost.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            To totally plagiarize RAB legend tommiesmithjohncarlos, I think my list is as follows (all deals are one year deals only:

            Plan A: Scott Hairston
            Plan B: do nothing and go with the kids
            Plan C: Cody Ross
            Plan D: Carlos Lee
            Plan E: a rehab flyer on Troy Glaus
            Plan F: Juan Rivera
            Plan G: Delmon Young (only at a supercheap rate)
            Plan H: do nothing because every other option seriously sucks balls
            Plan I: no, seriously, there’s nothing else, STOP READING there are no other names to consider, just wait for pitchers and catchers and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue
            Plan J: sign the craptastical Austin Kearns, just as insurance against us doing something much more monumentally stupid, like
            Plan K: Kosuke Fukudome
            Plan L: forfeit every 5th game
            Plan M: dismantle the team and convert YES into a sports memorabilia home shopping channel
            Plan N: outlaw baseball
            Plan O: blow up New York City

            Plan Y: summon the aliens from Plan R to come back and kill whatever seamonsters were not eliminated in Plan V
            Plan Z: annihilate all life in the universe with a massive black hole created by a large hadron collider experiment gone awry
            Some unletterable plan below Plan Z: Trade for Vernon Wells


            • Havok9120 says:

              He is missed.

            • RetroRob says:

              Fortunately, they went with TSJC Plan A, and brought back Andy Pettitte. Even better, they did not go with Plan G, a super-cheap Pedro. Both Andy and Pedro contributed in their own ways to the Yankees World Series championship that year.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              You would put Troy Glaus or Carlos Lee in the OF as your 5th and 6th option?

              Again… while Vernon Wells is bad, he is an MLB-caliber player.

  4. Blake says:

    They should really try to trade for mike Olt if there is any way they can get him….

    He’s obviously available and would potentially solve 3B for the Yanks cheaply for years… he can play corner outfield as well.

    Maybe the Rangers would look at Grandy for him to replace Hamilton….Yanks might have to kick in more but a young RH power bat that can play 3B is pretty much exactly what they could use

  5. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    Thanks you but no thank you.

    Other than his fluke 2011, he doesn’t even hit lefties well. If he had 1 year left on his deal, maybe take a flier but I wouldn’t use $1 of the precious 2014 budget on the slim chance that he has a resurgence.

  6. rondd5 says:

    ….maybe they can check the availability of jay buhner too…

  7. KennyH123 says:

    Vernon Wells? Really? This can’t be true. Either that, or Cashman’s brain is damaged from the altitude of climbing down high buildings in Stamford CT…. we can’t find a decent righthanded bat for the OF without looking at this waste of space?

    • Yankees Insider says:

      Actually I like the idea of Vernon wells. Maybe we could do a three team trade where we get wells on a salary dump we send grandy to third team and the third team sends a pitcher or someone to the angels. Also there is other outfield options like Carlos lee who hits to all fields with deteriorating power but solid average. Also maybe we could do a trade where we send granderson and Nunez or corban joseph to the phillies for Mayberry JR. and galvis maybe. It might not even cost Nunez also. There’s still a possibliltiy of getting upton, cargo, Stanton but it’s very small.

    • Yankees Insider says:

      Actually I like the idea of Vernon wells he would replace andruw jones times 2 with slightly better average double the HR (if he gets the playing time) and is faster, healthier and can play each OF spot. Maybe we could do a three team trade where we get wells on a salary dump we send grandy to third team and the third team sends a pitcher or someone to the angels. Also there is other outfield options like Carlos lee who hits to all fields with deteriorating power but solid average. Also maybe we could do a trade where we send granderson and Nunez or corban joseph to the phillies for Mayberry JR. and galvis maybe. It might not even cost Nunez also. There’s still a possibliltiy of getting upton, cargo, Stanton but it’s very small.

  8. turd surfer says:

    First Gary Matthews Jr now Vernon Wells. Way to go Reagins.

  9. mrdbag says:

    Ugh Vernon wells? This is becoming a team of has beens. I don’t think cashman can in anyway be creative. Look at what the Indians and reds and Arizona did? Does cash have that creativity

    • TomH says:

      This is becoming a team of has beens.

      Wait! Don’t you know that the Yankees won 95 games last year? (Or, as board ironists like to phrase it: You do know don’t you that the Yankees,etc.)

      Wells might just be the guy who gets them to . . . 87.

      • DC says:

        And you’re the guy drooling over the Blue Jays.

        • TomH says:

          In fact, I can’t stand the organization and its fair-weather fan base is pathetic.

          My warnings about the dangers they represent have nothing, zero, nada, the Void, to do with admiration.

          The difference, raised by your perfectly reasonable comment is this: the Jays probably would have finished with a much better record last year had they not been hit by serial injuries to their staff, with a just-for-good-measure removal of their leading hitter from the lineup. Given the likelihood of recovery to some of their people (including Bautista), not to mention their general upgrading over the off-season, a 2013 improvement for them seems far more probable than it does for the Yankees, given the removal of Martin, Swisher, and Soriano from the team, the downtime ARod faces, and the additional mileage of another year to a much too old team.

          However, it’s admittedly finally an empirical matter, and we should have a pretty good idea by mid-summer of whether the Jays have leapfrogged the Yankees.

  10. Bobby D. says:

    If Cashman is serious about aquiring Wells I give up!! This guy is obviously done. Scott Hairston makes more sense.

  11. Jessica Noonan says:

    Yeah,and while they’re at it, why don’t they see if Yogi will catch for them. :p Smh, this team needs to find better/younger players.

    P.S. I wish the Steinbrenner boys would let Cashman of his leash, so he can do his job. It’s kinda sad when the Mets are off spending money and the Yankees aren’t.

  12. Rich in NJ says:


  13. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    …talked Vernon Wells as in talked about what shitty player he is??

  14. brian says:

    Im tired of all.this.boring off season gut the whole team. Start fresh get the best prospects

    • ClusterDuck says:

      With Mo, Pettitte, Youkilis and Ichiro we get one more year of high quality players, now in their twilight years, trying to produce one more good season and a championship.

      After that I’m with you. Start playing the prospects in 2014, 2015 and beyond. And don’t trade for anymore retreads.

      Besides the Yanks have already started to get rid of the most boring players who can’t hit in the clutch. Martin, Swisher, Andrew and Chavez are gone.

      That’s a good thing.

      • TomH says:

        This is all well and good if Rivera, Pettitte, Youkilis, Ichiro–and let us not forget Jeter and ARod–don’t finally give in to Father Time this year, requiring the team’s physician to have a specialty in gerontology.

        [N.B. Nelson: you can find out what this really big word means at one of the many dictionary sites on the web.]

        • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

          Not trying to be a wiseass and this made me laugh but the medical sub specialty is Geriatrics and it’s practicioners are Geriatricians.

  15. ClusterDuck says:

    No more retreads, PLEASE!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I know, we should give back all the rings from the late 90s… all the re-treads ruined those teams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ClusterDuck says:

        Really? What retreads did we have in the late 90′s?

        Do you consider Jeter, Mo, Pettite, Posada, Cone, Wells, O’Neill, Key, Nelson, Stanton to be retreads? I don’t. They were the core of the team.

        Perhaps only Brosius and Hayes were the only marginal players that we acquired that turned out well.

        But most weren’t.

        I would also bring up 2009.

        That was a team built on high quality acquisitions (Sabathia, Tex, Burnette, Arod, Matsui, Damon) and home grown talent Posada, Cano, Jeter, Cabrera, Gardner, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Rivera, Hughes, Coke, Robertson, Aceves.

        Only Swisher in my view was an acquired marginal player.

        The Yankes of the late 90′s and the 2009 Yankees were teams that were built far differently than the 2010 -2012 Yankees. High quality acquisitions, mainly free agents plus home grown talent.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Were you alive in the 90s? Rock Raines, Strawberry, Gooden, Jose Canseco, Ruben Sierra, Cecil Fielder, Mariano Duncan, Chad Curtis, Chili Davis, Wade Boggs was let go by Boston because they thought he was done… the big names in there were all past their primes by a pretty wide margin.

          Hard to call Brosius a re-tread. He was a year removed from his career year and had the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best seasons of his career in NY.

          If you’re going to be a fan, learn at least the recent history of the team.

          The core of this team is still Cano, CC, Tex, Mo, Kuroda, Jeter, A-Rod, Granderson, Gardner, DRob, Hughes, A-Rod, Youkilis… all “high quality acquisitions” or home grown. Vernon Wells is looked at as a bench player. It’s not often that a bench player is a core player.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Swisher was marginal? WOW. Missed that one. He was a 4 win player in Oakland. He had one bad season.

  16. Ryan says:

    Forget wells. It’s bad enough they had to go 2 yrs for Suzuki. I’d rather them give Ryan Raburn a one yr deal and not affect next yrs payroll.

  17. Joe R says:

    I wonder what the price would be on Morales. That’d be a nice cheap bat to have.

  18. pinchhitter says:

    OMG, Cashman talked about a player and then decided not to acquire him. What a lousy GM.

    • Steve says:

      No, talking to a player and then not acquiring him is what makes him a NINJA. Ask Nate Schierholtz

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

        Actually talking to Schierholtz, AKA the most underrated FA in baseball, and then NOT signing him makes Cashman one of the “best” GMs in baseball.

        I’m not sure what makes him a ninja, perhaps he has training in the martial arts to protect himself from female grifters.

  19. George says:

    Here’s an idea for the outfield. I hear Barry Bonds doesn’t have a team for this year. He’s on the right side of 30 (40) for the Yankees, and if we could get him for his prime years type salary, he could be a good fit. Of course, if Barry doesn’t sign, maybe Manny is available.

  20. jjyank says:

    Wow at all the people freaking out about this. For all we know, the conversation went like this:

    DiPoto: Hey Cash, we have too many outfielders. Any interest in Wells?

    Cashman: LOL no.

  21. Robinson Tilapia says:

    This seems like a bunch of speculation (unless, of course, you’re twelve and suffered a tragic frontal lobe injury, in which case we appreciate you joining the comment section this off-season) but, really, all sorts of “no” to this possibility. Just because someone plays baseball and hits right-handed doesn’t mean you go out and get him, even if paid to. This sort of logic only applies to left-handed pitching.

  22. Drew says:

    I wouldn’t want him on the Yankees even if the cost was free. He’s the type of player I wouldn’t even offer a minor league contract to. Please Yankees no no no no

  23. dan gen says:

    The YANKEES SET THE BAR..championship or it a failed season …the fans did not set that bar…does anyone think this team is CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Does ANYONE ELSE think the World Series is played in MID-DECEMBER?

    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

      On December 16, I would say this is about a 90 win team that will struggle to make the playoffs but as stated above, I don’t think Cashman is finished putting this team together.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      It’s a little early for me to SET THE BAR but if you guys are game I am. What’ll you have?

    • ClusterDuck says:

      Do you think last years team was championship caliber?

      Both last year and this years pitching staff are.

      Do you think that last years offense was championship caliber?

      Last years offense reminded me of the Yanks of the last sixties.

      Subtract Jones, Swisher, Martin, Chavez and a decaying ARodd and add Gardner, Ichiro and (crossing finger)Youkilis and you have a more clutch hitting team.

      • Get Phelps Up says:

        Last years offense scored the second most runs in baseball (just 4 fewer than Texas). They also were the best in various advanced categories.

        So yes, they were championship caliber.

        • ClusterDuck says:

          Last years offense could not hit in the clutch. Last years offense struck out at a high rate, walked infrequently and didn’t work the count, Last years offense could not hit in the post season. Last years offense could not hit good pitching. Last years offense could only hit home runs against substandard pitching, a lot of it at Yankee stadium.

          Last years offense was one of the worst clutch hitting Yankee teams that I’ve ever seen.

          They were not a championship caliber offense.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Last years offense struck out at a high rate

            Ninth lowest strikeout rate in baseball.

            walked infrequently and didn’t work the count

            Third highest walk rate in baseball.

            It look me literally 15 seconds to look that up.

            • ClusterDuck says:

              Why don’t you go look up how last years team did offensively against good pitching and in clutch situations.

              Perhaps revisit their postseason AB’s. Shouldn’t take very long to do that.

              Few hits, many strikeouts, few walks.

              My point stands.

              • Get Phelps Up says:

                The Yankees had a better line with runners in scoring position than the world champion Giants.

                They hit good pitching many times throughout the regular season.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                You made the claim, you look it up.

                I got news for you, the “can’t hit good pitching” line is total bullshit used by people who can’t defend their position with facts.

                • ClusterDuck says:

                  Why such a classy response.

                  People who can’t defend their points do such things.

                  Anyway, I know what I saw in the regular season and in the post season.

                  Poor clutch hitting.

                  Poor hitting against good pitching.

                  The RISP problem is well documented.

                  The poor hitting in post season play is well documented.

                  Do you actually think that hitters with poor RISP stats and who can’t hit in the post season are hitters who hit well against good pitching.

                  And to trash somebody who dares to have such a point-of-view.

                  As I said, my point stands.

  24. Matty Ice says:

    If they’re going to get a RH OF for 2 years with the other team eating most of the salary, I’ll take Soriano.

  25. The Real Greg says:

    I would rather take Soriano than Wells. Wonder if the Cubs are looking for a better prospect for him rather than the Angels

  26. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    I’d take back Wells if they’d take Arod. I’d even throw in Nova and $10 million

  27. Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

    No Thank you. We already have 3 high risk-medium reward players in Youk, A-Rod, and Ichiro, it makes no sense at all to add a high risk-low reward player.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      If Youk’s 2011 or Ichiro’s NY numbers are medium reward, I’d love to see what high reward is. And if their salaries are high risk…

  28. dkidd says:

    in case brian cashman is reading this board, i’d like to volunteer that i am right handed and played baseball in high school

  29. ClusterDuck says:

    Swisher with a .301 RISP BA makes two Yanks.

  30. panos says:

    what is with this love for fat dudes.

  31. trr says:

    do not want, but I could see it happening if the price is right

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