Wells was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels last March for a minor leaguer due to Curtis Granderson getting injured during spring training and the team needing extra bats in the outfield and thus, making the trade with the Angels taking on $28 million of the $42 million owed to Wells in the final two years of his contract.
In 2013, Wells hit .233 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 130 games for the Yankees this past season and was asked to play more than the team expected due to injuries. Wells got off to a hot start in April, but as he was asked to play more for the Yankees, his age factored in and he wore down and eventually, became a fourth and fifth outfielder on the team.
With the Yankees acquiring Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran this offseason, both Wells and Ichiro Suzuki have become expendable to the team since they will take up space on the team's bench and roster and since all it cost for the Yankees was $2.4 million, the team made the easy move to simply cut him loose.
Before the Yankees and Angels, Wells was once an All Star with the Toronto Blue Jays and considered a top outfielder before being hit with injuries and thus, lead to disappointment over the last several years in Toronto and lead to his exit from Toronto.