Monday, March 25, 2013

Yankees Trade for Vernon Wells. Yes, You Read That Correctly

This offseason hasn't gone exactly to plan for the New York Yankees. They uncharacteristically backed off of pursuing big time free agents and are trying a "bargain bin" approach for 2013. Then it was released that Alex Rodriguez was going to need hip surgery, again. Then came the Biogenesis mess which - and, of course, this was going to happen - A-Rod was linked too. Then Curtis Granderson took a fastball off of the forearm in a spring training game, breaking said forearm. Then, Mark Teixeira strained his right wrist while working out with Team USA in preparation for the WBC. Last week however, ESPN reported that Tex's injury is a more serious partially torn tendon sheath. Michael Pineda still can't find his way to a mound, and might have the only shoulder that is worse off than Tommy Hanson's, and none of this would be complete without mentioning how Derek Jeter is likely to start the season on the DL for the first time since 2001. Are you with me so far? It's a lot to digest, I know, but this really has been the offseason from hell for the pinstriped ones.

Enter Jerry Dipoto, Vernon Wells and a panicking Brian Cashman.

According to Buster Olney, the Dipoto had approached Cashman at the winter meetings about a possible deal that included sending Wells to New York. And at the time, as any GM not named Tony Reagins would do, Cashman said "No." Of course, at the time, Cashman had a full roster of veteran players and had no real use for a fourth outfielder who would be making as much as Vernon Wells would. My, oh my. What a difference three months can make, because now, not only is Cashman willing to trade for Wells, but he's also willing to take on - reportedly - $13MM of the remaining salary as well. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Dipoto: So, Brian, how about we talk about Vernon Wells again? You've had quite the slew of...
Cashman: I'll do it, but I'm only eating $13MM of the salary he's owed.
Dipoto: *Turns to Arte Moreno and whispers* Um, Arte, he's going to give us money to take Wells off of our hands.
Moreno: ¿Cuanto?
Dipoto: 13 sir. 
Moreno: ¡HIJO DE PUTA! Do it mijo!
Dipoto: Ahem. Yeah, Brian, That'll wor....
Cashman: OK, good. Now let's talk personnel
Dipoto: ..........

I asked Jerry Dipoto if there were any transcripts of the conversation between him and Brian Cashman. He asked me how I had gotten his cell phone number.

Twitter, of course, exploded. Angels fans rejoiced and Yankees fans were last seen mobilizing for a march on Times Square. I guess that's what happens when a team trades for a player who over the last two seasons has only been good enough for a -0.3 bWAR and posted a slash line of .222/.258/.409. At least he got to hang out with Mike Trout and Captain Morgan during that time. So far, there has been no news of any player(s) heading out to Los Angeles (Anaheim) as part of the deal, but at this point, I doubt Angels fans actually care. The last stamp from Tony Reagins' reign has been removed, which is probably plenty good enough for them. 

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