The 34-year-old Angels outfielder is expected to be trade bait now that Los Angeles has signed Josh Hamilton, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Yankees, who reportedly discussed trading for Wells at the winter meetings, need a right-handed hitter for their outfield.
Wells would most likely waive his no-trade clause for a chance at more playing time, Rosenthal reports. The Angels already have Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo as outfield options along with Hamilton, leaving Wells and designated hitter Kendrys Morales as the odd men out.
If the Angels were to trade Wells, they would most likely take on most of the $42 million he is due over the next two years.
The Yankees have been busy this offseason, but they’ve concentrated mostly on short-term deals with older players. As well as bringing back team mainstays Andy Pettitte (40) and Mariano Rivera (43) on one-year contracts, the Yankees re-signed 37-year-old Hiroki Kuroda for one year, picked up 33-year-old Kevin Youkilis for one season and brought back 39-year-old Ichiro Suzuki on a two-year deal.
Wells played 12 seasons in Toronto before being traded to the Angels in 2011. He appeared in just 77 games last year, batting .230, and has posted a .273/.321/.467 line over his career. Wells’ seven-year, $126 million contract is considered one of the worst-value signings in MLB.
The Yankees already have a full outfield, with Suzuki, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner expected to take the starting spots. Adding Wells would most likely put an end to speculation that switch-hitting Nick Swisher could return to the Bronx in any capacity.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Vernon Wells