Yankees acquire outfielder Vernon Wells

03/26/2013 3:16 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

In Wells, the Yankees acquire a three-time Gold Glove winner.(AP)
In need of a right-handed bat, bench help and a professional hitter to play the outfield while Curtis Granderson recovers from a fractured forearm, the New York Yankees have acquired veteran outfielder Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of prospects, with the Angels to also kick in $29 million of the $42 million left on the final two years of Wells' seven-year, $126 million contract.

In return for Wells, the Angels will receive two players who spent 2012 at some level of Class-A ball: 24-year-old LHP Kramer Sneed and 21-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Exircado Cayones. Sneed was the Yankees' 32nd round pick in 2010, and was 0-7 with a 5.31 ERA in 31 games (four starts) for Class-A Advanced Tampa last season; Cayones, meanwhile, was one of the prospects the Yankees acquired from Pittsburgh in the A.J. Burnett deal last February, and he hit .228 with one home run, 15 RBI, 22 runs scored and seven stolen bases in 47 games at Short-Season Class-A Staten Island.

Wells, no stranger to the American League East, joins the Yankees after waiving his no-trade clause, and the move immediately makes him a starter in the Yankees outfield alongside Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner. He is a career .273 hitter with 259 home runs and 908 RBIs in 1,601 games over 14 seasons with both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Angels, winning three Gold Gloves along the way, and when he signed his huge deal with the Blue Jays after the 2006 season, he was one of the top outfielders in all of Major League Baseball.

Wells went on to play three more seasons in Toronto and finished his Jays career in 2010 with a solid final season north of the border, hitting .273 average, 31 home runs and 88 RBIs. He was then traded to the Angels in January 2011 for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera - who may be his teammate come April 1 - but had a very rough first season in 2011; Wells stroked 25 home runs, but hit just .218 with a .248 on-base percentage.

Last season, Wells hit .230 with just 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 77 games, missing more than two months after fracturing his thumb while trying to steal a base in late May.

Things have gone better for Wells this spring, as he went 13-for-36 (.361) with one double, four home runs, 11 RBIs, and two stolen bases in 14 Cactus League games for the Angels, and the Yankees hope a change of scenery will help Wells continue to rebound after a solid spring.

A reciprocal 40-man roster move will be announced at a later time.

Follow Joe Auriemma on Twitter: @JoeAuriemmaYES comments