After making headlines by signing Josh Hamilton, the Los Angeles Angels are now looking to trade veteran Vernon Wells to make room in their crowded outfield. One team emerging as a possible trade partner is the New York Yankees, who discussed Wells with the Angels at the league's winter meetings and are searching for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder.
Wells hit .230 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 77 games with the Angels last season. The three-time All-Star has plenty of experience playing in bright lights of Yankee Stadium after spending 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and has played all three outfield positions, though he has spent the majority of his playing time in left field since joining the Angels in 2011.
Wells seems to be a good fit for the Yankees, but the 34 year-old outfielder is owed $42 million over the next two seasons. As the Yankees remain determined to lower the team's payroll under $189 million by 2014 to avoid the luxury tax threshold, the Angels would likely have to pay a large portion of the contract to finalize a deal.
The Yankees expect Brett Gardner to start in left field, Curtis Granderson to start in center field, and Ichiro Suzuki, who is close to re-signing, to start in right field. However, the Yankees are looking to add a power-hitting outfielder that bats right-handed to platoon with their speedy combination of Gardner and Ichiro.
If the Angels find a trade partner, Wells will have the option to decline any potential deals with his no-trade clause, though he would likely accept a trade to the Yankees to leave a crowded depth chart and earn more playing time in the Bronx.
In addition to Wells, the Yankees have shown interest in free agent Scott Hairston. The 32 year-old outfielder hit a career-high 20 home runs with the New York Mets last season, who are also pursuing the veteran slugger.
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