Alfonso Soriano trade: Should the Yankees try Vernon Wells at first base now?

Al Bello

When Alfonso Soriano is acquired and Curtis Granderson returns from the DL, the Yankee outfield will be overly crowded. As a result, the Yankees could look to move Vernon Wells to first base in a platoon role.

Once the Yankees acquire Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, they will have a surplus of outfielders. With Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, and Vernon Wells already in the fold, to go along with Curtis Granderson's eventual return, and now the Soriano trade, the Yankees will have five outfielders vying for three spots. Keeping this in mind, the Yankees should consider moving Vernon Wells to first base.

Vernon Wells, as we all know, is pretty bad. Entering Friday night's play, the 34-year-old outfielder boasts a .240/.288/.366 line with a 76 wRC+. Certainly, we can conclude that this is someone who shouldn't be playing every day and is the worst of the five outfielders previously presented. However, since he is on the team and is not going anywhere anytime soon, the Yankees could still try to find him a spot in the lineup, but at first base.

Now, by no means should Vernon Wells be the regular first baseman going forward, but he could platoon with Lyle Overbay. Overbay and his 49 wRC+ against lefties should never see the field against southpaws. Vernon Wells, on the other hand, has a 104 wRC+ against lefties, which is certainly not great, but is miles better than what Overbay has done.

The Yankees moving an outfielder to first base mid-season wouldn't be anything new for them. After acquiring Bobby Abreu in July of 2006, the Yankees shifted Gary Sheffield from right to first after the latter returned from wrist surgery in September of that same year. The transition wasn't pretty, to say the least, so it's not a guarantee that Wells could make it work. At the same time, Vernon would only be in there against lefties and they could have Overbay come in as a defensive replacement in the late innings. Besides, stranger things have happened, like the Yankees moving Lyle Overbay to right field for a short while.

Given the abundant amount of outfielders the Yankees will have, moving Wells to first as part of a platoon makes so much sense that it actually won't happen. All kidding aside, the Yankees offense could still use a little punch even with the injury returns of Derek Jeter and Granderson to go alongside the Soriano trade, and pairing Wells with Overbay at first would certainly help that.

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