Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Yankees made several major splashes in free-agency this winter, including the additions of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in the outfield. After adding those two pieces, the Yankees' roster now holds six outfielders, leaving both Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells as the two odd men out.

But Wells doesn't want to leave New York, he wants to stay at least one more year after being traded to the Yankees from the Los Angeles Angels at the end of Spring Training last year.

"Hopefully I'll get one more year with" the Yankees, Well said on MLB Network Radio Thursday.

Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano also join Wells, Ichiro, Beltran and Ellbury in the crowded outfield. The Yankees have been getting plenty of call on Gardner, but have no intent on moving him. He'll likely be the starting left fielder with Ellsbury in center and Beltran in right field to start the season.

Soriano figures to spend most of his time as the DH, while also swapping in and out in the outfield with Beltran. Both Beltran and Ellsbury have a history of injuries, so the Yankees could decided to keep a fifth outfielder, leaving as Wells would be the top choice to go.

"There's possibly one spot" up for grabs in the outfield, Wells said, "depending on if there are any moves made between here or there. But I've learned not to concern myself with things I have no control over. All I can control is getting ready for spring training and going in, and being ready to help the team in whatever what I can. Whatever role that I end up playing, whether it's there or somewhere else, I have to be ready and ready to produce."

Wells got off to a good start last season for the Bombers, hitting .300 in the month of April with 6 homeruns and 13 RBIs. But his production dropped badly over the rest of the season, hitting just 5 more homeruns and finishing with a .233 average in 430 at-bats.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said carrying six outfielders on the Opening Day roster isn't ideal, and it wouldn't easy to move Wells to anyone looking for him. He's owed $2.4 million in 2014, and his salary won't count against the luxury tax cap for the Yankees.

When the Angels traded him to the Yanks, they agreed to pay $29 million of the remaining $42 million on his deal. They paid most of the $13 million left last season, and LA will pick up most this season.

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