For the past two seasons the Angels have been trying to find a place for Vernon Wells, his huge contract, and unproductive play. Pending a physical Tuesday, they have finally found a place for Wells–New York. One of the biggest free agent busts in recent memory has been on the outside looking in at best since joining the Angels. In 2 seasons, his Angels career batting average is .222, with only 64 extra base hits in almost 750 at bats. Mike Trout had 65 in 200 less at bats as a rookie (of the year). Vernon Wells will now bring his talents to the Bronx.
Among those talents are striking out, hitting lazy fly balls, playing mediocre defense, and getting paid a lot of money. Pinstripes seem like the obvious choice. Angels fans are ecstatic, even if the Angels have to pay $29 of the $42 million remaining on his contract. But the New York media and Yankees fans are left trying to rationalize this seemingly desparate move. But if you compare wells to the Yankees current left fielder–it can’t get much worse than Juan Rivera. Now there I go, making rationalizations for them.
Deadspin summarizes the prevailing sentiment surrounding the trade pretty much on point, as usual.
Building a Baseball Team 101: Don’t get Vernon Wells. The Yankees failed. deadsp.in/BCQCggT
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 25, 2013
Just look at how much improved the Blue Jays are since the free agent left 3 seasons ago. It must be some kind of mistake. It’s too good to be true news for the Angels. Nope. It is true.
My favorite baseball headline of the day: Yankees Acquire Vernon Wells On Purpose. ow.ly/jprrE
— Jeff Fischel (@JeffFischel) March 25, 2013
Ok, so it wasn’t an accident. There must be a perfectly good reason that the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells.
The Yankees offseason has brought nothing but turmoil, and that mostly came in the form of injuries. The Angels on the other hand have only been getting more talented and deeper too. The Yankees have done little to bolster their lineup and pitching staff, let alone replace the injured players.
A mulligan? It seems more akin to jumping on a grenade to save the team, or jumping out of a plane. The Yankees will need more than a mulligan if they think that Vernon Wells is the answer. The Yankees aren’t the only looking for answers. How will Vernon Wells answer the problems he had in Anaheim?
When you think of what Vernon Wells needs, it’s definitely going to the fan/media scrutiny intense Yankees.
— Batting Stance Guy (@BattingStanceG) March 24, 2013
Going to Newy York to resurrect a career hasn’t worked for very many players. But Wells has nowhere to go but up. That’s not to say it will be easy to turn it around, or very likely.
Rationalizing decisions, no matter how outrageous they seem, is just part of life anyway. Why did I quit my job or get a speeding ticket, or eat that whole box of donuts? It must be the same reason that the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells. It kind of made sense at the time.