Tag: Vernon Wells

New York Yankees Designate Vernon Wells for Assignment

After signing outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran this offseason, it was clear that the New York Yankees needed to make additional moves in order to make room. They did precisely that on Jan. 10 by designating veteran outfielder Vernon Wells for assignment, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The Yankees made things official later Friday afternoon:

It isn’t a particularly shocking decision on New York’s part due to the fact that Wells was shaping up to be the team’s No. 6 outfielder behind Ellsbury, Beltran, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki.

Despite the abrupt end to his career as a Yankee, Wells took to Twitter to thank the organization.

It was a classy move by a player who has carried himself well over the course of his 15 years in Major League Baseball.

Wells made the jump to the Bronx prior to the 2013 season after spending two campaigns with the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees were desperate for hitting depth with Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira on the shelf, so Wells became a key player for New York.

He got off to an incredible start with a .300 batting average, six home runs and 13 RBI in the month of April, but he finished the year at just .233 with 11 homers and 50 runs driven in. His play dropped off sharply, and his playing time was sporadic thereafter.

Due to his steep drop-off, it remains to be seen if any teams will be interested in the 35-year-old righty. Wells is just a few years removed from a 31-homer season and an All-Star nod, so perhaps there is something left in the tank.

The Yankees simply couldn’t keep him around to find out, though, since roster spots are of the essence, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.

Also, while the move may look like a cost-cutting measure on the surface because of Wells’ $21 million contract in 2014, none of that would have counted toward the magic $189 million salary mark that will trigger huge luxury tax dues should the Yankees surpass it, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

That obviously means that the Yankees are more worried about shaping their roster with the best possible players than maneuvering under the $189 million ceiling.

It’s possible that they could still do both depending upon what other moves are made moving forward, but general manager Brian Cashman and the rest of the front office certainly seemed to make a statement.

Wells isn’t the same player that he once was, but he is a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, so hopefully he lands on his feet prior to the 2014 season.


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Yankees Outfielder Vernon Wells Steals Home for First Time in 15-Year Career

For the first time in his career, New York Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells stole home.

The steal happened in the bottom of the second inning with two outs against the White Sox. Eduardo Nunez attempted to steal second, but stopped in the middle of the basepath on catcher Josh Phegley’s throw. Second baseman Gordon Beckham caught the ball and immediately threw home as Wells slid in just before the tag.

It was a heads-up play where he saw an opening and took advantage of a preoccupied defense to put the first run on the board.

While stealing home is uncommon, for a guy like Wells, it’s an even bigger deal.

Wells has 108 steals in his career, but has only stolen six bases this year. In fact, he’s only stolen 10 or more bases three times in his career.

As rare of a feat as it is, Wells isn’t even on the radar when it comes to the all-time leaders in this category. According to Baseball-Almanac.com, Ty Cobb tops the list with 54 swipes of home plate during his Hall of Fame career. In fact, no active player even has 10.

At this stage of his career, Wells would be lucky to get an opportunity like this ever again.

One Twitter user posted something even more extraordinary that happened elsewhere in MLB on Tuesday:

It’s just one of those nights that can’t be explained.

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Exicardo Cayones: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt for Vernon Wells

In an attempt to put healthy players on the field for opening day, the New York Yankees have dealt for veteran outfielder Vernon Wells.

In exchange, one of the prospects the Los Angeles Angels will receive is 21-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones (h/t Mark Saxon of ESPN), who came to the Yankees’ organization from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the A.J. Burnett deal.

So who is Exicardo Cayones and what’s he all about?

Here’s a breakdown of what the Angels received by trading Wells to the Bronx Bombers. 



Birth Date: Oct. 9, 1991 (21 years old)

Birthplace: Valencia, Venezuela

Experience: Two years (minor leagues, mainly Single-A ball)

College: None

Height, weight: 6’0″, 183 lbs.


About Cayones‘ Big League Time

The 21-year-old outfielder hasn’t reached the big leagues just yet, as he’s still trying to make his way out of Single-A ball.

In 47 games with the Staten Island Yankees last season, Cayones hit .228 with one homer and 15 RBI to go with seven stolen bases. In 200 plate appearances, he drew 33 walks and finished the 2012 campaign with a solid .374 on-base percentage.


Cayones‘ Offense

For his overall career in the minors (four years), Cayones owns a .261 average and .372 OBP to go with a .358 slugging percentage. Cayones‘ game isn’t built on power, as he has hit only two home runs during his time in the minors, but he has swiped 21 bags.

One favorable aspect of Cayones‘ offensive game is his eye at the plate and ability to draw walks. In his young career he has shown the ability to lay off pitches and pick one to his liking, as you can see here:

Cayones‘ first season in the minors was easily his most successful, when he drove in 34 runs and hit .302—including 18 doubles and two triples—with the VSL Pirates.

Cayones‘ offensive game is still a bit underdeveloped, as he’s clearly not a power hitter, but doesn’t have the speed and stolen base numbers to be considered a “speed guy.”

He needs to put in some serious work at the plate before a big league team is going to think about bringing him up to the majors.


Cayones‘ Defense

Cayones spent the majority of last season manning right field for the Staten Island Yankees, where he committed just one error and sported four assists. 

He has an average arm and has committed only nine errors in his four minor league seasons in the outfield, where he’s played all three positions.



As long as Vernon Wells isn’t a complete bust in New York, I’d say the Yankees made out on this deal.

Los Angeles is picking up most of the tab on Wells and the Yanks hardly gave up anything. In return, they’re getting a former All-Star who can fill the void in the Bronx with the slew of injuries that has struck the Bronx Bombers.


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MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees, Angels Discuss Potential Vernon Wells Deal

Here’s the situation.

The Angels have too many outfielders after they landed Josh Hamilton in free agency and could look to trade someone.

The Yankees could use a right-handed bat and potential fourth outfielder.

Apparently, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the two teams have discussed a potential trade to send Vernon Wells to the Bombers:



The two teams talked about Wells during the baseball winter meetings last week in Nashville, but no deal has surfaced yet.

But now with Hamilton in the fold for the Angels, the potential trade talk could be resumed, as Los Angeles needs to shed a few players.

Wells is owed $42 million dollars over the next two seasons ($21 million in 2013, $21 million in 2014), so if any trade is going to happen, the Halos would almost certainly have to eat most of the remaining deal for the 34-year-old.

In 77 games for the Angels, Wells hit just .230 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 2012. However, Wells does hit left-handed pitching, hitting .266 against lefties over the last two years.

If the Angels are going to give away Wells for two seasons and it won’t cost the Yankees a lot, if anything, in a return deal, I don’t see why Brian Cashman explores a trade.

Wells could take the spot of the departed Andruw Jones, who recently signed with a Japanese team for 2013.

Wells is a former three-time Gold Glove center fielder who can play all three outfield positions if needed in case of injury and has the potential to hit 20-30 home runs if he is given the at-bats.

The trade for the Yankees makes sense, especially if the Angels pay most of Wells’ remaining deal.

Stay tuned to see if the Yankees acquire the veteran outfielder within the next few weeks.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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Toronto Blue Jays: Vernon Wells Is Making GM Anthopoulos Look Better by the Day

It’s been a little over three months since Toronto Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, dealt Vernon Wells and the remainder of his ridiculous $126 million contract to the Anaheim Angels. The move that shook up Toronto’s baseball landscape is making the young Blue Jays GM look better by the day.

His Anaheim counterpart, Angels’ GM Tony Reagins…not so much.

Heading into the weekend, it’s safe to say that Wells (1 HR, 5 RBI, .178 AVG) isn’t having the kind of start to the season that Reagins was hoping for when he traded for the former Jays’ All-Star. Even after only 25 games, looking at those numbers, the Angels’ GM has to be sweating a little bit.

The deal was made at the end of January and sent Wells and $5 million in cash to Anaheim in exchange for OF Juan Rivera and C/1B Mike Napoli. Napoli was then flipped to the Texas Rangers in exchange for closer Frank Francisco.

Thus far this season Rivera (2 HR, 6 RBI, .215 AVG) has played in 19 games for the Bluebirds, and Francisco, who started the season on the DL with an injured pectoral muscle, has appeared in four games for the Jays, earning one win in relief and sporting an ERA of 2.09.

The Jays might not have gotten any game changers in return for Wells, but at this point, the fact that they got anything in return for the struggling outfielder, without having to pay virtually any of the remaining $80 million on his contract, is already making Anthopoulos look like he outright swindled the Angels.

After the trade, the young GM made his motivation for moving Wells’ clear.

“The financial implications were certainly a large component,” Anthopoulos said. “There’s no question going forward this will give us flexibility.”

In this case, “flexibility” is a gross understatement. Wells’ contract is still considered by many to be one of the worst contracts in baseball history. The inflexibility that comes with it is now Tony Reagins’ problem.

To be fair to Reagins, Vernon did have a good season last year, hitting .278, with 31 homers and 88 RBI’s in 157 games. However, as Jays fans know all too well, those numbers have become the exception rather than the rule when it comes to Wells. Over the previous three seasons, between 2007 and 2009, he averaged only 17 homers and 75 RBI, while playing in an average of 138 games for the Jays.

Those numbers certainly do not reflect a $126 million player. So what was Tony Reagins thinking when he traded for the grossly overpaid 32-year-old?

At the time of the trade, he had this to say:

“Vernon is a player we have admired for some time,” Reagins said in an earlier statement. “He is a tremendous person and the type of player that will impact our club immediately, both on offense and defense.”

Wells’ “impact” on offense and defense is already being felt in Anaheim, and if Reagins’ admiration hasn’t turned into outright concern just yet, the continuing criticism of both Wells’ play, and the trade itself, has to be weighing on his mind. 

His Blue Jays counterpart on the other hand, Mr. Anthopoulos, is sitting pretty. With each passing game, Vernon Wells seems to be doing his best to make that deal look like one of the greatest trades in Toronto Blue Jays history.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Hot & Cold List W/E 4-10

Every Monday I will be bringing you the Top 3 hot and cold baseball players from around MLB. The twist, I’ll also be providing a buy or sell recommendation on the cold players to help you decide if this is a guy to target in a trade offer or someone you should cut if they’re clogging a bench spot. I’ll also give advice on those playing well, if you should sell high or buy the continued dominance.


For the last week, here are your Hot & Cold recommendations—




Paul Konerko

Last 7 games: .393 Avg, 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB

Call: Sell

Konerko will get you around 30 home runs and 100 RBI, but if an owner in your league is seeing over 40 homers and a .300+ batting average, sell high.


Matt Kemp

Last 7 games: .407 Avg, 4 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 SB

Call: Buy

Kemp’s average will cool off, closer to his career .290, but he’s on a mission this year and you can expect the stats to keep piling up for his lucky owner.


Jaime Garcia

Last 2 games: 1-0, 0.60 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 18 K

Call: Sell

Garcia looked good last year, so a strong start is no fluke. However, these numbers aren’t sustainable. But if someone in your league thinks they are, sell!




Vernon Wells

Last 7 games: .094 Avg, 2 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB

Call: Buy

With the move to a less hitter friendly ballpark, you should expect lower numbers than last season, but he won’t hit .100 all year. Buy with the expectation of home runs in the low 20’s and an average in the .270 range.


Derek Jeter

Last 7 games: .179 Avg, 1 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB

Call: Sell

Jeter has become a ground ball specialist as he’s aged. The trends say he’s declining. Sure, he won’t hit below .200 for the season, but if he’s your starting shortstop for the year you may be in trouble. Especially when the Yankees make the inevitable move to drop him down in the lineup.


Phil Hughes

Last 2 games: 0-1, 16.50 ERA, 2.67 WHIP, 1 K

Call: Sell

The drop in velocity has me concerned. You can’t expect opposing teams to hit .400 off him all year, but he doesn’t look like he’s going to be the same pitcher as last year unless something changes drastically.


Brian is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of the 4th and Home Radio show on Blog Talk Radio.

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L.A. Angels: Can Kendry Morales Bounce Back From His Broken Leg?

 The next time Kendrys Morales takes the field in a game, his teammates and coaches aren’t likely to tell him to “break a leg.”

The L.A. Angels first baseman did just that late last May and hasn’t made a single appearance in a game since. Nearly a year removed from the injury that effectively killed his and the Angels’ season, Morales still isn’t quite ready for game time.

In fact, it’s only in the last couple of weeks that Morales has been allowed to perform baseball activities of any kind out on the diamond, but even that has proven too strenuous.

Last week, the Angels announced that Morales will start the season on the 15-day disabled list. The move didn’t come as a complete surprise to fans, but it was unwelcome all the same.

On Tuesday, Morales was sidelined with soreness in his foot, which the team attributed to his recent workout efforts as he continues to ease his way back into playing form.

Apparently those leaps and bounds by which he was improving were just a little too long.

But don’t let these little setbacks cloud the reality: when this guy gets healthy, he will be a monster again.

The fear, of course, is that Morales will never again frighten teams the way he did during his breakout campaign in 2009, when he slugged 34 home runs and finished fifth in the AL MVP voting.

Without his big bat anchoring the middle of the order for the majority of last season, the Angels struggled like mad to generate offense.

However, this is not the same club that took the field on Opening Day last year.

Sure, aging players like Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu failed to step up before, and table-setters like Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo found it difficult to work their way on base without a significant power threat behind them.

But now, having gone through all of that, the Angels are a little older, perhaps a bit wiser, and certainly a whole lot stronger.

Their offseason acquisition of outfielder Vernon Wells, however controversial it may have been, will do wonders for a disturbingly anemic ball club sans Morales. Wells showed he can still strike fear in the hearts of pitchers, jacking 31 big flies, driving in 88 runs, and earning his third All-Star selection.

Back in the infield, with Morales still on the mend, the Angels will turn to power-hitting rookie Mark Trumbo to man first base.

Trumbo has been lighting up scoreboards and scouting reports this spring, with nearly as many homers as the rest of the Angels starters combined. Although his major league experience is limited, he is the ideal temporary solution to the team’s Cuban missile crisis.

The Angels still need Morales back as quickly as possible, he is their star after all. But until he is fully ready to go, there is no need to rush and no need to panic. The Angels don’t need to trade for Albert Pujols, clear salary room for Prince Fielder, or declare the 2011 season over just yet.

Baseball seasons are not won or lost in the first month. Things aren’t nearly as bleak as they were last May. This time around, the Angels have enough in their revamped arsenal to hold on until Morales gets back.

And when he does, the heavens will smile on Anaheim once more.

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2011 MLB Preview: Five Common Predictions for the Season That Won’t Happen

Every year, there seems to be some trendy prediction that everyone loves to make before the season. For example, last year, everybody (myself included) seemed to think the Mariners were looking like a playoff team. Or the year before that, when several people were convinced that the Royals had a shot to be that year’s Rays. Granted, sometimes, these risky, yet trendy picks do actually work out, such as two years ago, when several writers were picking the Rays to be 2008’s “this year’s Rays team” before we actually had that term (because, you know, that was the year it first happened). In any case, I have been seeing a couple of predictions recurring much more than they should be for 2011, and I just want to be the person with enough foresight to say why they won’t happen before they happen. Because I pointed these out, they’ll probably all happen just to prove me wrong, but nonetheless, I will begin.

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MLB Rumors: Giants May Buyout Barry Zito’s Contract: Top 10 Worst Signings Ever

Barry Zito, who has struggled in a San Francisco Giants’ uniform, still has three years and $57 million left on his contract. There is a good chance that Zito will be boughtout by the Giants, who already have a deep array of starting pitchers

Since the offseason before the 1999 season, when Mike Piazza and Kevin Brown signed by far the two biggest contracts ever at that time, there have been many gigantic contracts, almost none of which worked as a whole.

In the case of many of these large contracts, it is almost as if players are earning money for what they have done in the past, as opposed to what they will bring to the table in the future.

It is unclear whether this tends to happen because players try harder the year before becoming free agents, or if it is simply a result of age and statistical odds catching up to you.

Here are the 10 worst MLB contracts of all-time.

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Los Angeles Angels: Halos Have the Firepower to Overthrow the Rangers in AL West

In Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, an old fisherman goes 84 days without catching any fish. On the 85th day, he ventures further than he’s ever gone and snags the big one, an 18 foot marlin. Trying to bring his catch in, sharks begin to pick at the Marlin and by the time the old man returns to the village, only the skeleton of the fish remains.

In many way, the Los Angeles Angels are like the old man. Two years ago, they tried to re-sign first baseman Mark Teixeira, only to be outbid by the New York Yankees. This offseason, they eyed Tampa Bay Rays speedster Carl Crawford, only to once again be outbid, this time by the Boston Red Sox.

To make up for not landing their “marlin”, they have instead countered by landing smaller fish in the sea, which have included the likes of outfielders Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, and pitchers Dan Haren, Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir.

For all intent purposes however, the Angels already may have the biggest fish in the sea in Mike Trout, MLB.com’s No. 1 rated prospect in baseball. Trout is considered to be a five tool baseball player and has even drawn comparisons to Mickey Mantle himself.  

Although the Angels lost out on Crawford, they traded for Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells, who last season hit 31 home runs with 88 RBI. Wells was acquired in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera.

When healthy, the Angels have more than enough firepower at both the plate and mound to overthrow the Texas Rangers and hold off the upstart Oakland Athletics.

The Rangers lost their best pitcher Cliff Lee to Philadelphia, and outside of C.J. Wilson, the Rangers pitching staff isn’t really impressive, at least on paper. The Athletics, on the other hand, may have the best pitching staff in the American League West, but they lack offense.

Of the entire AL West, the Angels offer the best balance at both the mound and plate. Jered Weaver lead the league last season in strikeouts, Ervin Santana lead the team in wins with 17 and Dan Haren dropped his ERA by almost two full points when he left Arizona, from 4.60 to 2.87.

Kendry Morales, who broke his leg after a walk-off grand slam back in May, is expected to return to the lineup this season. Morales and his offensive outburst from 2009, which included 34 HRs, 108 RBI and a .306 batting average, were missed in last season’s downfall that saw the Angels finish in third place.

In the end, what may determine the AL West will not be who landed the biggest fish in the offseason, but rather, who stays healthy and is consistent throughout the season. If all the parts and pieces that the Angels have put together over the last couple of seasons can stay healthy and play consistent baseball, the Angels may do what they’ve done three times in the last five seasons, win the AL West.

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