Jobu reacts to the Vernon Wells trade.
This entire offseason, Yankees fans have been subjected to the front office signing borderline players to minor league deals (no disrespect to guys like Ben Francisco, Juan Rivera, etc) because they simply could not afford to take on any more money onto the payroll. You see, they have a plan for their payroll to be under $189MM for the 2014 season. Just yesterday they made a trade for another borderline player, but they’re going to pay him $13MM over the next two seasons… zuh??
That’s right, friends. the Yankees have traded for Angels outcast Vernon Wells, who over the last couple of seasons has become terrible, injury prone and homeless in an Angels outfield that is now pretty stacked. It’s one of those moves the Yankees have been threatening to make for the last two years, but thankfully haven’t. It seems like something Brian Cashman would never do on his own. As my brother asked, did somebody let Hank out of his cage?
On the surface, this move makes no sense at all. As I mentioned before, Wells, who is quite possibly the most overpaid player in baseball (except maybe A-Rod), hasn’t been good since 2010, when he hit 31 home runs for the Blue Jays. In the off-season, the Jays somehow got the Angels to take his contract in a trade for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera, who is in camp with the Yankees as well this spring. Anyway, over the last two years, wells has hit .222/.258/.409 with 36 home runs and 95 RBI in 208 games. Not good, bro. He’s also suffered through wrist and shoulder injuries which limited him to just 77 games in 2012.
Just how ugly is this contract? It’s technically almost over, but Wells is still owed $42 MM over the next two seasons. The one good thing about this deal is that the Yankees will, apparently, only have to cover $13MM of that. That helps ease the load a bit. However, the way it’s structured will benefit the Yankees come 2014 as well. The Yankees will pay Wells $12MM for the 2013 season. I know that sounds absurd for a guy who isn’t going to play full time, but might stink whenever he does actually play, but that puts them only on the hook for $1MM in 2014. According to the good folks at Riverave blues, the Yankees will actually get a $2MM luxury tax bonus next season because Wells’ average contract value is $18MM. Not sure how that works, but I guess I’ll take it.
The only problem is this. If they didn’t go out and get Vernon Wells, they wouldn’t be spending $13MM. Sure, they’re saving money by not having to pay $42MM, but they could have paid nothing, and kept Vernon Wells off their team. I mean seriously. Is he any better than Ben Francisco at this point? Is he better than Juan Rivera? I don’t think he provides anything significantly better than those two guys could provide.
The Yankees have to hope that his newfound health, and perhaps the change of scenery, will envigorate him. If he’s healthy, he could mash lefties like he has in the past. He is currently hitting .361 with 4 homers this spring… They don’t really need him to be a world beater, but if he could do a little more than what Andruw Jones did over the last couple of years, he’ll be fine. I don’t think he’s going to kill the team or anything, it just seems like a pointless move.
Either way, welcome Vernon Wells. Please don’t suck.
Featured image courtesy of: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
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