The Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, clearing space on the 40-man roster and relieving some of the outfield logjam they had created with the signings of Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Wells, one of the more personable and articulate players in their clubhouse, got off to a good start as a Yankee, batting .300 last April with six home runs and 13 RBI, but tailed off substantially after that, finishing up at .233/11/50 with an OPS of just .631. He hit just one home run after May 15.
The Yankees picked up Wells in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels during spring training last year. They had to assume $11.5 million of his $21 million salary for 2013 but only $2.4 million for this season, the final year of the seven-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008.
A three-time All-Star, Wells has played in 1,731 big league games for the Blue Jays, Angels and Yankees. He has a career average of .270 with 270 home runs and 958 RBIs over 15 seasons.
Wells tweeted his gratitude to the Yankees shortly after the news became public:
— Vernon Wells (@VernonWells10) January 10, 2014
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and The Associated Press was used in this report.