The Angels traded Vernon Wells and about one-third of his remaining $42 million salary commitment to the Yankees for a pair of minor league players with low ceilings. Los Angeles received 21-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones, whom New York acquired in last year’s A.J. Burnett trade, and 24-year-old lefty reliever Kramer Sneed, who pitched at high Class A last season.
Despite being owed $21 million this season, Wells would have functioned as fifth outfielder for Los Angeles behind left fielder Mike Trout, center fielder Peter Bourjos, right fielder Josh Hamilton and roving corner masher Mark Trumbo. With the Yankees, he moves into a place of relative prominence: left field platoon-mate with Brennan Boesch.
Exicardo Cayones, rf
Age: 21. Born: Oct 9, 1991 in Valencia, Venezuela.
Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 183.
Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Pirates, July 4, 2008 … Traded by Pirates with RHP Diego Moreno to Yankees for RHP A.J. Burnett and cash, Feb. 17, 2012.
The Pirates signed Cayones for $400,000 four years ago, citing his ability to work the count and his lefty line-drive stroke. That evaluation seem at least a little suspect, however, after consecutive seasons of Cayones hitting .228 in short-season ball. He does work pitchers for walks, though, and he sports a career .372 on-base percentage through 758 pro plate appearances. Cayones profiles as a corner outfielder because of below-average running speed.
Kramer Sneed, lhp
Age: 24. Born: Oct 7, 1988 in Winterville, N.C.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 185.
Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Barton (N.C.).
Career Transactions: Selected by Yankees in 32nd round of 2010 draft; signed June 29, 2010.
Sneed throws a firm low-90s fastball from a lanky 6-foot-3 frame, but after walking 5.7 batters per nine innings as a 23-year-old reliever in the Florida State League last season, the only thing he’s proven is that he has a lot of work still to do. He throws a flat mid-80s slider that doesn’t seem to bother lefties—they hit .269/.370/.385 in 78 at-bats last year—but some scouts project his changeup to future average.
Vernon Wells, lf
Age: 34. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: 2 years, $42 million (Angels send $28 million)
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
|Major League Totals||.273||1601||6218||885||1695||363||34||259||908||442||883||102||.321||.467|
On the one hand, no regular or semi-regular major league outfielder has a lower on-base percentage than Wells’ .291 mark since 2010, but on the other, he’s been at least playable versus lefthanders, batting .243/.305/.440 with 16 homers in 384 PAs. That matters for a Yankees team that will feature little power in center (Brett Gardner) or right field (Ichiro Suzuki) until Curtis Granderson returns from a broken forearm.