Monday, March 25, 2013
Breathing room for Bourjos
By Doug Mittler
The Los Angeles Angels apparently found a taker for Vernon Wells, agreeing to absorb a substantial portion of the outfielder’s remaining salary in order to ship him to the New York Yankees.
Wells, 34, is in the sixth year of a seven-year deal worth $126 million and is owed $21 million for each of the next two seasons. The Yankees' share of the remaining money is said to be about $13 million over the next two seasons, according to ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.
From the Angels perspective, the deal is a vote of confidence for Peter Bourjos, who is now an everyday player.
There was speculation in camp that manager Mike Scioscia might want to play Wells on a more regular basis if Bourjos, the speedy 26-year-old center fielder, struggled early. With Wells gone, Bourjos has some breathing room, says MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.
The trade of Wells likely secures a reserve roster spot for Kole Calhoun, who is hitting just .216 this spring, but has looked good defensively. Calhoun hit .174 in a 21-game stint with the Angels last season.
Meanwhile, Olney asks why the Yankees were willing to take on some salary, even at a discount:
Buster OlneyVernon Wells heads East
"Here's the part about the Yankees' willingness to take on $13 million of the money still owed to Vernon Wells: Why the heck didn't they spend that money on Russell Martin last fall, to retain him at catcher? Instead of having a good defender at a premium defensive position, they have now invested that money in a corner outfielder who has been in decline the last couple of seasons and wasn't even used as a regular player for much of 2012. The general reaction to the Wells deal around baseball Sunday night was surprise that the Yankees would absorb that much money of Wells's contract -- although some evaluators say that Wells has looked good this spring, with increased bat speed."