Vernon Wells pretty much knew Torii Hunter wouldn’t return to the Los Angeles Angels this season, and he saw it as an opportunity to re-establish himself as a productive major league hitter.
Wells needed to show that the Angels weren’t completely wasting their money by paying him to sit on the bench or be unproductive when he was penciled into the lineup.
Then the team found $125 million for Josh Hamilton, and Wells was back on the bench—a position for which he admitted he was responsible.
“I want to be able to show what I can do, and I haven’t been able to do that the last couple of years,” Wells recently told KLAA 830 radio. “There’s still a lot to show Angel fans. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do that, and if I don’t get it, then so be it.”
Wells understands he is on the outside of the starting lineup looking in. The Angels still owe him $21 million over each of the next two seasons, and his .222/.258/.409 slash line and 86 OPS-plus in the previous two seasons with the Angels makes him an undesirable commodity in a league that is facing new luxury tax rules in 2014.
Hamilton and Mike Trout are locked into corner outfield spots, and Peter Bourjos is the heavy favorite to man center field when the Angels have their first full-squad workout Friday. Manager Mike Scioscia said there is always a possibility that Wells will be in the team’s opening day outfield, but because that would take something like Bourjos completely giving away the job or having a poorly timed injury, it seems like Scioscia was being diplomatic.
Angels’ outfield depth again plants Vernon Wells on bench
SportingNews.com | Feb 14