To be honest, the Vernon Wells-to-the-Yankees trade is more important as a joke than it will likely be in baseball terms. Due not to any personal fault of his own (he seems like a nice enough guy) but to his ludicrous contract, Wells has been a punchline for several years now. His production fell off a cliff in 2011, when he was 32 and making $26 million, and now he’s a scary story GMs tell their Assistant GMs around the campfire in the woods to frighten them. He’s also, as of today, officially a New York Yankee, traded for two minor-league non-prospects with the excellent names of Exircado Cayones and Kramer Sneed.
As regular Sports on Earth contributor Joe DeLessio points out, however, this deal is not actually such a big deal in its baseball impact. Over the course of the next two seasons the Yankees will be on the hook for $13.9 million of Wells’ $21 million a year salary, but the complex structure of the financials is such that, as Ken Rosenthal explains, none of that will count against their luxury tax threshold in 2014 — the now-infamous $189 million budget. In other words, it’s an overpay, but not one that will impede other, potentially more sensible moves. (The fact that they also just signed Lyle Overbay indicates that their farm system needs serious improvement, but that’s a minor-league deal that also won’t interfere with signing players who are, well, better than Lyle Overbay).
Trading for Vernon Wells is definitely not something you want to make a habit of, but injuries (to Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and of course Alex Rodriguez) have rendered the Yankees’ opening day lineup downright alarming, to the point where Wells could very well be a useful piece for them. It should never have gotten to that point, but it did, and under the circumstances this trade is, while not one I would have made, not so insane as it looks on its face.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be joking about how ludicrous it is that the Yankees just traded for Vernon Wells, though. Not at all. Life is hard and joking about trading for Vernon Wells is one of those little things that helps us get through the nights. Though when it comes to jokes about New York City outfields, the Mets and their fans have an insurmountable lead already.
A few days ago, I saw this and instantly realized it was the best available dog-video representation I could find of the Mets’ 2013 outfield:
So when the Vernon Wells news came through, I immediately looked for an equivalent video representing Wells’ outfield play. Here’s Pepper:
We are currently taking suggestions for “dog gif that most embodies Lyle Overbay.”