ESPN TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees are close to completing a deal to acquire veteran outfielder Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels, according to two sources who requested anonymity. Wells has a no-trade clause and would have to approve a trade, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. A source close to Wells also told Olney that Wells would likely approve the trade. “It’d be a huge change. I don’t think it’s ever easy saying goodbye, but at the same time, if this were to happen, it’s a good group of guys over there,” Wells said in Tempe, Ariz. “I’ll just get to know a new family.” A source, an executive in the front office of one of the teams involved, told ESPNNewYork.com that the deal would be completed “within 72 hours.” Wells, 34, is in the sixth year of a seven-year deal worth $126 million. He is owed $21 million for each of the next two seasons, but sources said the Angels would have to absorb a substantial portion of Wells’ remaining salary before the deal would be completed. The Yankees’ share of the remaining money is said to be about $13 million over the next two seasons, sources told Olney. Because the deal would include more than $1 million changing hands, it must first be approved by commissioner Bud Selig. “We have discussed a deal with the Yankees,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said, refusing to go into more detail because a trade had not been finalized.
I’m not going to sit here and say that Vernon Wells is the savior the injury hampered Yankees needed to save their season, but I do like the acquisition, because something clearly had to be done. Wells never seemed to fit in with the Angels, and he was not going to get a lot of playing time in their crowded outfield this season, so the trade makes sense from their perspective as well. As a Yankee fan I would much rather have seen the team acquire younger player, this may be the oldest team in baseball history, but it fills a need. Hopefully Wells can help the injury depleted Bronx Bombers tread water until Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeria return from injuries in mid-May.