Vernon Wells Trade Helps Boston Red Sox and Hurts New York Yankees

By Jonathan Cullen
Vernon Wells
Jake Roth-USA Today Sports

After spending the entire offseason being fiscally responsible, the New York Yankees have finally decided to make a splash and they are on the verge of acquiring Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels according to Jeff Passan.

If you are a fan of the Boston Red Sox, you should be extremely happy right now.

The initial reports of the trade have the Yankees on the hook for roughly $13 million of the roughly $42 million that is remaining on Wells’ contract over the next two seasons according to Jon Heyman.

Instead of investing that money into retaining Russell Martin this winter, something that would have really strengthened the Yankees in the wake of the losses of Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, New York has made the curious decision to spend their money on Wells.

The 34-year-old Wells simply isn’t the player that he used to be, seeing his skills erode rapidly. In his two seasons playing for the Angels, Wells has been among the worst players in baseball, posting a negative (-0.3) WAR combined in the two years.

It isn’t that Wells’ WAR was bad, but stunningly bad. His slash line while with the Angels was .222/.258/.409 in almost 800 plate appearances. If the Yankees want to commit $13 million and 300 at-bats to Wells, great news for Boston.

As much as the Yankees have tried to remain calm this spring, it is telling that they are potentially reaching for Wells with a week left in the spring. It might make the Red Sox feel better about their team depth and also give the Red Sox confidence that they can take advantage of the Yankees to start the season.

Boston has made their fair share of questionable deals, but even with the injury to David Ortiz, the Red Sox aren’t grasping at straws on the verge of the regular season.

For the Yankees, Wells is a gamble, nothing more or less.

The Yankees are hoping Wells’ solid spring with the Angels means that Wells can resemble the player he used to be with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010. Not a great player, but someone who can provide some power in the bottom half of the Yankees lineup.

If Wells continues to show the form he had with the Angels, he will likely be gone by the summer.

For the Red Sox, they should be breathing a big sigh of relief. The Yankees used to go out and get players like Bobby Abreu, Ichiro Suzuki and Lance Berkman with their spare change.

This time, it looks like they might go out and get Wells and that should help the Red Sox.

Jon can be reached:

Twitter: jcullen71

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