Yankees Add Veteran OF Vernon Wells
With the Yankees' injuries adding up, the team is being forced to look outside the organization for help. For the past two days, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been working on a deal to acquire OF Vernon Wells, and a deal was completed Monday night. The specifics are not yet known, though the Angels are not expected to receive significant compensation for Wells because Wells was forced out of a starting job last season with the emergence of Mike Trout. The Angels could not afford Wells' contract any longer, and the Yankees were a perfect fit for Wells.
As of now, Wells is expected to be the starting Left Fielder for the Yankees until Curtis Granderson returns from injury. Even after Granderson's return, Wells will fill a much needed veteran bench spot that the Yankees will rely on this year.
It's clear that Vernon Wells is not the player he used to be. After consecutive seasons of 31 and 25 home runs in 2010 and 2011, Wells put up only 11 round trippers last season. In 2010 with Toronto, Wells hit 7 of those 31 homers against the Yankees.
If Wells can avoid injury, he'll be out there with the rest of the Yankees trying to win games and stay in contention until their big bats return. The Yankees know what they are getting with Wells. Though his numbers may not rebound, Wells is a good fielder even at 34. He's still a respected player around the league and he'll get his chances to help the Yankees.
With the addition of Wells, the Yankees will have a good mix of veteran leadership and young talent. With Opening Day coming soon, Wells and the rest of the Yankees will have to prepare for what may be a very long season.