Yankees Release Vernon Wells

JANUARY 16: The Yankees have released Wells, according to the MLB.com transactions page

JANUARY 10: The Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Wells himself tweeted out a thank you to the organization: "Thank you Yankees for the opportunity to be a part of such a storied franchise."

The Yankees need room on their 40-man roster because although they've agreed to deals with Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton, neither has been officially announced at this time (as noted earlier today by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports). An Alex Rodriguez suspension could clear a spot for the second player.

Wells, 35, was acquired by the Yankees last offseason in exchange for Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed, with New York picking up $13.9MM of the remaining $42MM on Wells' contract. They looked to have caught lightning in a bottle early in the season, as Wells mashed his way to a .301/.357/.538 batting line with 10 homers through his first 38 games, replacing some of the production lost when Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira went down with injuries. Wells posted a .495 OPS with just one homer from May 16 through season's end, however, finishing with a batting line of .233/.282/.349 in 458 plate appearances.

Wells is owed $21MM this season, $18.6MM of which comes from the Angels, with the Yankees on the hook for just $2.4MM.


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130 Comments on "Yankees Release Vernon Wells"


Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

I really want the Blue Jays to add him for the major league minimum now. Full circle.

Bryan
1 year 7 months ago

Do the angels or the yankees get the modest discount for that?

Aaron
1 year 7 months ago

It would be the Angels. The Angels are still paying out his contract. The Yankees are making payments to the Angels.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

other way around buddy. TOR sends money to LAA who sends money to NYY to pay him

Aaron
1 year 7 months ago

No, the Angels assumed the contract when they acquired him from Toronto. Toronto made a one-time $5MM payment to the Angels to complete the trade. At that point Toronto was out of the contract. When the Yankees agreed to acquire Wells last offseason, they agreed to make two payments to the Angels – one for $11.5MM in 2013, and another for $2.4MM in 2014. The Angels still own the contract and are paying Wells his bi-weekly salary during the season.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Where did you get that information from????

Every press realese on the trade say “Angels send Wells and Cash to NY for outfielder Cayones”

Once you trade for a player you pay his salary that how it works! NYY is just only paying 2.4 Mil out of their own pocket.

Aaron
1 year 7 months ago

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/03/angels-receive-cayones-sneed-in-vernon-wells-deal.html

No it’s not. Player contracts in MLB are guaranteed. That means once a team assumes a contract, they are obligated to pay it in full unless another team assumes it from them. The Yankees did not assume the contract, they simply agreed to make payments to the Angels. The Angels must pay Wells the full $21MM he is owed in 2014 regardless of what team he plays for, or at all. They will get $2.4MM of that back when the Yankees make their agreed upon payment later this year. That is all.

Put it simply, the Angels pay the full $21MM to Wells, the Yankees pay the Angels $2.4MM, so in essence the Angels are paying $18.6MM and the Yankees are paying $2.4MM as the article says….but all the money going to Wells’ paycheck comes from the Angels regardless of where he is playing.

Now that the Yankees have cut Wells, if he signs somewhere, the Angels will be able to subtract whatever he signs for from their obligation (likely the $500K minimum), but the Yankees are still obligated to make their agreed upon $2.4MM payment to the Angels.

-C
1 year 7 months ago

No, this is incorrect. When a trade occurs, the team that gets the player gets the contract. Your assertion that the Yankees can get the player but not the contract is false. The Yankees pay the contract, and are paid by the Angels for that portion.

Cot’s Contracts has it spelled out. From the Yankees page on that site:

Vernon Wells – $24,642,857
Vernon Wells – Signing Bonus pd by Toronto – -$3,642,857
Vernon Wells – portion paid by LAA – -$18,600,000

The Yankees own the contract as part of the trade. The Blue Jays pay the signing bonus, as agreed upon at the time he was traded to the Angels. The Angels pay the bulk of his contract, as agreed upon at the time of the trade to New York. New York pays the remaining salary ($2.4M). If someone else signs him to a major league contract after he goes through waivers, the Yankees would not pay the amount the other team would pay him (the league minimum, or a prorated league minimum if he’s not on the 25-man roster to start the season).

So the Yankees are effectively paying Wells $2-2.4M to not play for them this season, in all likelihood.

-C

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

How come LAA assumed the contract upon trade from TOR and NYY didn’t with the trade with LAA?

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say NYY is paying him, but LAA is paying NYY most of the salary, minus 2.4m, for 2014?

I’m just confused why the contract would stay with LAA when he is now a player for the NYY.

slasher016
1 year 7 months ago

You are correct, the contract always goes to the new team, and the previous team sends cash to pay for it. The contract belongs to the Yankees.

sunshipballoons
1 year 7 months ago

What modest discount? Getting DFA’d doesn’t keep him from getting paid. Wells still gets his salary. It all comes from the Yankees. The Angels pay the Yankees their share.

Bryan
1 year 7 months ago

The team signing Wells would be responsible for paying the major league minimum and that money would be offset to the team that is paying his whole contact.

sunshipballoons
1 year 7 months ago

Gotcha. I guess I wasn’t thinking about future savings. There is no savings just from DFA’ing him.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

If nobody signs him isn’t he a 21 million dollar guy playing for Scranton Wilkes Barre?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

They are already paying part of his salary for 2014 so their own minimum deal would be subtracted (at least partially) from the money they are already paying him

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

Vernon Wells has such a confusing contract, I don’t even know x_x

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

I think they just included the Jays because they sent $5 mill over to the Angels in the trade. I don’t believe they are actually on the hook for still paying any of the contract.

ColoredPaper
1 year 7 months ago

Wrong! As confusing as it has been, the Jays aren’t paying him any amount at all. Aaron’s got it right.

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

Wouldn’t even mind that to be honest, though with Sierra and Gose probably taking two of the bench spots, that doesn’t seem likely. Could the Jays see their 2nd sign and retire this offseason though?

Erik Trenouth
1 year 7 months ago

He won’t retire this offseason. If he does, he forfeits the remaining $21 mil. He will try to stick around in the minors somewhere and then contemplate retirement after the season.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

If that happened, Angels fans everywhere would celebrate as if there was another New Years! $18 extra million? Sure. We’ll take Tanaka and Garza, and Capuano for good measure.

Wek
1 year 7 months ago

You need to save up every penny you got for those two albatross contracts that will cripple the team in the very near future.

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

Does he even have to technically play in the minors? I think he could just sit the year out and collect his money. But yeah your response in regards to what I said I did not even consider, good call.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

They’re paying for him so they might as well…

ColoredPaper
1 year 7 months ago

As Aaron wonderfully explained, the Jays are not on the hook for any of Wells salary. They kicked in a one-time $5million amount when they traded him to the Angels, and that was it.

stl_cards16
1 year 7 months ago

The Angels are paying for Wells. It’s right there in the article.

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

He will not be w/ the Angels but north of there where the Space Needle/Pike Place Market is.

1 year 7 months ago

Although I am a Cubs Fan, I like what Toronto has done this off season, they are spending money wisely in my opinion. I can totally see wells as a DH for them, not sure if he can still play in the outfield or first base……good luck on Tanaka!!

1 year 7 months ago

The Rays should pick him up, could be another useful option potentially

1 year 7 months ago

Knowing how things go, the Rays would sign him and he’d have a great year then sign a 3 year deal with some idiot and hit like he has for the past few years.

Kyle
1 year 7 months ago

Perfect platoon partner with Matt Joyce or David DeJesus since neither one of them can hit lefties. Plus when Longoria gets hurt Vernon Wells can play 3rd

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Big Surprise here!

Since_77
1 year 7 months ago

Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming. I had enough of commentators and reporters saying how classy he is but his performance on the field tell you he is not ML level talent anymore.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 7 months ago

Could be useful to a team like Houston who could use a veteran presence in the locker room.

E: It could also be worth noting that of the 13.9MM, only 2.4MM is owed in 2014.

John Diuguid
1 year 7 months ago

You have to feel badly for Wells. All players eventually hit a wall and their skills diminish but you hate to see it in a class act like Vernon Wells.

Wags71
1 year 7 months ago

You have to feel bad for all of the other major league players making 40 times less and outperforming him.

1 year 7 months ago

It was funny watching the whole Abreu/Angels thing play out while Wells took whatever happened to him in stride. Obviously the money helps, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about him aside from his hitting.

John Diuguid
1 year 7 months ago

Wells class stems from his father, a world class artist. It was his father’s dream for Vernon to play for the Yankees and that dream finally came true. Everything else is gravy. If the Yankees are smart they will tie up Vernon Wells as a minor league instructor or manager in the Yankee system. You can not do better than Vernon Wells in your organization.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Abreu/Angels thing?

1 year 7 months ago

When Abreu was demanding playing time since he was without a regular position. Wells was also facing uncertain playing time but you never heard about him making ultimatums.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

That’s because Wells never earned it with the Angels. I think Abreu had much more room to make those demands. I don’t blame him. The funny part for me is the fact that the Angels released Abreu, and then Wells tore his thumb. Wells then missed 2 months, and then played the final 2 months as a part timer. And all the while, Bourjos struggled to keep his own starting job and became the 5th OF. Abreu would’ve gotten at least a shot at the playing time he wanted any way. I kept telling fans that playing time was going to open up. Someone will get hurt, someone will struggle, etc. And it happened. Abreu had a point. And I think he earned the right to speak up.

1 year 7 months ago

Speaking up is one thing, but he told them to play him every day or trade him. He was obviously mad that the trades with the Indians and Yankees fell threw, but I don’t think that’s appropriate behavior for a man making that kind of money.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think I can really feel all that bad for a guy who has made $125+ million in his career.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

$125 million doesn’t bring back what we lose in life.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

He fell off a cliff and it was tragic to watch.

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

Watch out if he signs w/ the Mariners by having a breakout season just like Raul Ibanez last season, esp. against the Angels, Blue Jays, and Yankees as Dustin Ackley for pitching help would be a good option too if there are any teams interested in him, Smoak, and Nick Franklin to build a winning, playoff caliber team this upcoming season.

Bradleyd222
1 year 7 months ago

You want people to feel bad for a guy who can sit at home and make over 24M dollars…… are you serious?? I don’t have one cell in my body that feels “bad” for any professional athlete, let alone one who can do nothing and make 25M!!

Robert Mango
1 year 7 months ago

Gee, when they signed Ellsbury and Beltran, after having Soriano, Gardner and Iricho already, this is sooooooooooooo surprising. I’m shocked no one would take a flier on him in a trade at least, he wouldn’t cost anything money wise….

1 year 7 months ago

I think most probably figured he’d be close to free eventually. No point in taking a million or two in salary if you don’t have to.

Robert Mango
1 year 7 months ago

he was not counting towards the yankees salary at all this year, he was literally free.

stl_cards16
1 year 7 months ago

“Wells is owed $21MM this season, $18.6MM of which comes from the Angels, with the Yankees on the hook for just $2.4MM.”

You have a strange definition of literally.

T.J. McFarland's Mustache
1 year 7 months ago

To a Yankees fan, $2.4MM is literally less than free.

Captain America
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees will still owe him either way

1 year 7 months ago

I got my grandfather a Wells jersey the year before Bautista became a superstar since I figured he was most likely to be with the team the longest. I didn’t pay very much for it, but boy was I wrong.

DerekJeterDan
1 year 7 months ago

I wish Vernon Wells the best in all regards. A consummate professional who filled in for the 2013 injury riddled Yankees at numerous positions and did have some big late inning hits.

Mike LaRose
1 year 7 months ago

I can see a team waiting until he gets cut and signing him to a league min deal.

Wags71
1 year 7 months ago

He isn’t going to refuse assignment and cost himself $22 million.

Mike LaRose
1 year 7 months ago

MLB deals are guaranteed, he gets paid even if he elects free agency and plus the Yanks can still outright release him

Wags71
1 year 7 months ago

If he refuses to play baseball, I imagine he wouldn’t get paid.

Mike LaRose
1 year 7 months ago

If he quits or retires than he won’t get paid but that won’t happen

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

Not w/ the Astros, Angels, Rangers, nor Athletics, but a team in their division needing outfield help like pitching in order to end the playoff drought & save the GM on the hot seat after signing one of the stars in baseball coming over from the Yankees by reuniting w/ him.

macdice
macdice
1 year 7 months ago

A right handed poor fielding outfielder…how are the Mariners not linked to him yet?

George Vander Buist
1 year 7 months ago

I honestly thought that quote read, “.. part of such a steroid franchise.. “

btcharpied
1 year 7 months ago

I’m a Yankees fan and I read it that way as well. ‘Storied’ is clearly a typo by Steve Adams 😉

Ryan Caudle
1 year 7 months ago

As opposed to which franchise that has not been linked to steroids?

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

Glad I searched before posting that, because I read it the exact same way!

Kool-Aid!
1 year 7 months ago

Me too. Funny how the mind works.

Kool-Aid!
1 year 7 months ago

Me too. Funny how the mind works.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

One of Cashman’s worst moves. That money could have brought you back 29 home runs from Raul Ibanez, an actual major league catcher in Russell Martin, and a potential Eric Chavez reunion at 3rd. Sometimes this team just makes you scratch your head.

btcharpied
1 year 7 months ago

1) None of those pieces would have made enough of a difference to make the playoffs. You can’t simply project that the same production would have occurred had they stayed with the Yankees.

2) Martin would have still required a multi-year deal, meaning no McCann. Why people want to think like Martin was some massive asset in 2012 is beyond me. He was better than they had in 2013, but that’s not exactly a difficult benchmark to surpass.

So the Yankees took a year off from the playoffs. Does it really matter? The team is better in 2014 than 2013 by a fairly decent amount.

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

Yankees are barely eating any money on Wells contract. Unlike the ARod deal. But I guess his contract and guys like Jeter and CC aren’t financial back breakers but the 2.4 mill the Yankees are paying Wells is. Same fans who bash ARod on msg boards and say he’s a punk but cheer him when he’s at bat. Delusional.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

You’re whining over $2.4 million? Try being an Angels fan the last 3 years, and wondering how much pitching depth they could’ve had, on top of still making their Haren and Greinke trades, with $21 extra million in each season. Subtract Wells’ 2013 salary from the Yankees payroll, and there is still a very long list of shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’s on that roster. Injuries were the biggest culprit in the Yankees clubhouse, and that’s just unfortunate. No one to blame there. It’s just part of the game.

WindsorJaysFan
1 year 7 months ago

He said he would retire after this contract. I’d like to see him on a 1 day contract and retire a Blue.Jay. Him and Halladay retiring a Jay the same offseason, would be a nice sight.

1 year 7 months ago

He can’t retire this offseason or else he doesn’t get his money.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Actually he can. His reputation for having a lot of class points to him possibly retiring and relieving the Angels of the burden.

1 year 7 months ago

But if he retires, he doesn’t get his money. I wouldn’t expect him to leave that money on the table if there’s a chance he latches on with another team.

bjsguess
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah – you can’t retire and still collect a paycheck. I so wish it were possible.

btcharpied
1 year 7 months ago

Why exactly would it be “classy” for him to retire to relieve the Angels of their burden? That IS a burden that they dealt for, that they knew they were taking on. You know that, right? So he’s supposed to turn his final year of this deal into some feel good story for the Angels to rid them of something they agreed to pay him? Sounds like quite the wishful Angels fan here.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

That should be a simple question to answer. Your assessment is in hindsight. You can’t tell me you knew Vernon Wells was going to tank when the Angels acquired him. It was up to him to produce. Now he’s not even playing. It would be a classy move to retire no matter who is at fault or who is to blame. I can’t believe I have to explain that.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

Plus, there is no wishful thinking here. It’s just an idea.

RyanWKrol
1 year 7 months ago

It would also demonstrate his class because it would take a big monkey off the Angels’ backs.

Barnadine_the_Pirate
1 year 7 months ago

Wait, Vernon Wells is still alive? He is the oldest 35-year-old since Luis Tiant.

1 year 7 months ago

He doesn’t have to go to the minors though. The only way he’s forced to play is if a team claims him off waivers. Not sure if he has a no trade clause but I doubt that would matter.

bjsguess
1 year 7 months ago

Hmmm … this is actually pretty tricky. As I understand it a player who is designated for assignment must accept that assignment or elect to become a FA. If they accept their contract remains in place. If they elect to become a FA then their contract is terminated. However, there appears to be a wrinkle here since Wells had a full no-trade clause. However, he also waived his no-trade clause to go to the Yankees. Not sure if that means he waives the right to invoke the clause in the future or if once waived it remains waived for the duration of the contract.

Here is some explanatory text I found:
A player who is claimed off Outright Release Waivers has the option to decline the assignment and become a free-agent (he has up to five days to decide). For most players, refusing an Outright Release waiver claim means the player’s contract is terminated with no severance and his former club owes him nothing, but for a player with “no trade” rights who refuses an Outright Release waiver claim, the player is owed his full salary for the balance of the contract, same as if he had not been claimed.

1 year 7 months ago

He has enough service time required to refuse an assignment to Triple-A. If the Yankees tried to trade him, he could in theory veto the trade and the Yankees would be forced to either keep him on the 40-man roster (and then the 25 man once the season started) or release him.

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

500k out of 21m is chump change.

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

I think the Ichiro contract was the worst move from last year. Wells acquisition was in second place for me.

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

I think you’re wrong. The team that acquires the player, also acquires the contract. It would be a legal mess otherwise.

Also, the MLBTR article you linked to doesn’t corroborate your point. It just says Yankees are paying 13.9m. It doesn’t say Yankees are paying 13.9m amount to the Angels. They’re paying that amount to Wells, with the Angels transferring money to the Yankees to pay for the rest.

Aaron
1 year 7 months ago

Now that I look at it more closely, I think you might be right. Rather than a $2.4MM payment going from the Yankees to the Angels, I think it’s an $18.6MM payment going from the Angels to the Yankees. That must have changed in the last CBA because it used to work the way I was saying before.

If that’s the case, then yes…the Yankees would be the team getting the pro-rated discount if Wells signs with another club. Not that $500k (or less if he’s not in the Majors all year) helps anyone’s payroll much.

BrocNessMonster
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah it would be a mess. Say, he had gone to a state with much lower income taxes.

onemanrevival
1 year 7 months ago

I guess the question comes down to can he even play the OF anymore? If not, no NL team will touch him.

Since_77
1 year 7 months ago

Defensively, he is still a decent corner outfielder. The last couple off years have proven that offensively he is not a ML starter.

Melvin McMurf
1 year 7 months ago

or bench utility

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

The Mariners would be a good fit for bench utility and also provide veteran leadership besides Cano to help the them getting back into the playoffs, esp. to the World Series if the Seahawks don’t make it to the Super Bowl. Better make great decision on the new President by dumping Howard Lincoln for Sean “P. Diddy” Combs that has ties w/ Cano’s agent Jay-Z.

Ron Loreski
1 year 7 months ago

Of course the Mariners are a fit. He’s a declining RH power hitting OF/DH