The New York Yankees have released outfielder Vernon Wells, according to the official MLB.com transactions page. Wells was designated for assignment last week to make room on the team's 40-man roster for new addition Matt Thornton.
Wells, 35, will get a chance to test the free agent market after hitting .233 with 11 HR and 50 RBI in 130 games in his first season with the Yankees in 2013. As part of the trade that sent him from the Angels to the Yankees during spring training, the Angels will be on the hook for $18.6 million of Wells' salary, while the Yankees will cover $2.4 million. Any team that signs him will likely only have to pay a pro-rated salary, with Los Angeles and New York picking up the bulk of the tab.
Wells will likely draw significant interest as a low-cost option for teams looking for right-handed hitting outfielders on the free agent market, and could sign in the near future. He still showed bursts of power in 2013, and teams looking for help in that area are probably willing to take a flier on him with the Yankees and Angels paying most of his salary.
In fifteen major league seasons with the Blue Jays (1999-2010), Angels (2011-2012) and Yankees (2013), Wells is a lifetime .270 hitter with 270 HR and 958 RBI. He is a three-time American League All-Star, and has also won three Gold Glove awards.