Yankees Finalize Trade For Vernon Wells

Wells will wear No. 56 for the Yankees and play left field.

The New York Yankees have finalized a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for veteran Vernon Wells after two days of negotiations. It was reported Sunday that the Yankees had a trade in the works, and it is now a done deal as the Angels will receive a pair of minor leaguers from the Yankees.

Outfielder Exircado Cayones and left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed will be sent to the Angels in exchange for Wells. Cayones hit .228 in 47 games in 2012 while Sneed finished with an 0-7 record and a 5.37 earned run average.

The trade for the veteran should fill a gap in the Yankees outfield caused by a forearm injury to Curtis Granderson early in spring training. The Angels will pay around $28.5 million of Vernon Wells’ $42 million contract that ends after the 2014 season. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Yankees will pay $11.5 million of Wells’ contract this season and $2.4 million in 2014.

Wells is in the lineup for the Yankees against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night and will play left field. The 34-year-old will wear the No. 56 and bat sixth in the lineup during his first appearance with the team.

Wells’ performance has dropped off drastically over the past two seasons, but the slugger has shown signs of his old self in 2013. Wells hit .361 with four home runs and 11 RBIs with the Angels this spring before the trade and looks to be a solid pickup for the Yankees.

The Yankees have also been rumored to be interested in recently released first baseman Lyle Overbay, who could fill-in for the injured Mark Teixeira. Opening day is less than a week away and the Yankees still aren’t sure who will be penciled into the lineup card when they face the Red Sox on April 1. Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira will all start the season on the disabled list, forcing the Yankees to test their $189 million payroll goal.

The deal for Wells will cost the Yankees over $13 million during the next two seasons no matter how Wells’ performs. Is the trade for Vernon Wells a desperation move by the Yankees, or will the three-time All-Star make an immediate impact in pinstripes?

[Image Credit: Keith Allison]